Just over a million words

Posted on December 23, 2015 (Subscribe to Blog)

Fellow author and all-round jolly good chap Brian Clopper wrote a post the other day, Well past a million words, detailing his mammoth word count to date. In writerly circles, talking about word count is something very nerdy and boring to anyone but authors. I don't care. I'm posting my own word count here anyway.

I thought I'd take it back to my humble roots, April 2009, when I debuted Island of Fog (which was actually finished the previous November) and quickly followed up with the second book:

2009 (total 190,699 words)
– 97,155 Island of Fog
– 93,544 Labyrinth of Fire

The next three years look quite lazy in retrospect, with each novel taking about eight months:

2010 (total 150,318 words)
– 105,318 Mountain of Whispers

2011 (total 103,010 words)
– 103,010 Lake of Spirits

2012 (total 99,478 words)
– 99,478 Road of Madness

In fact I was working on a couple of other projects as well (Quincy's Curse and the original version of Caleb's World), but these didn't see publication until later. See below.

In 2013, someone must have lit a fire under me because my word count shot through the roof. I remember that I just "got quicker" at writing books, and the next couple of Fog titles only took 4-6 months each. And bear in mind I'd started Chamber of Ghosts in 2012, so really some of that word count should be spread out. But there was also Fractured, co-written with Brian Clopper. I've only included my half here:

2013 (total 309,855)
– 100,050 Chamber of Ghosts
– 50,835 Fractured (my half)
– 91,776 Valley of Monsters
– 67,194 Quincy's Curse

Quincy's Curse was half-written already from some of those previous "lazy" years. I just had to finish it.

2014 was a good year too, with the 2-part Fog finale (each title taking about 4 months each) and the first exciting installment of my new Sleep Writer series:

2014 (total 231,020 words)
– 86,345 Prison of Despair
– 92,605 Castle of Spells
– 52,070 Sleep Writer

And finally, 2015 was a mixed bag:

2015 (total 249,031 words)
– 54,372 Unearthed (my half)
– 34,942 Eye of the Manticore
– 58,849 Robot Blood
– 40,749 Monsters in the Fog
– 60,119 Caleb's World

Eye of the Manticore was a short novella, and Monsters in the Fog was a collection of short stories (but all written in 2015 and posted to the website). The other three were full novels; Unearthed, which was the second part of the Fractured story and again co-written with Brian Clopper (my half included here), and also Robot Blood and Caleb's World, the second and third parts of the new Sleep Writer series. Caleb's World was of course partially written a couple of years before.

And so the grand total is 1,114,712 words.

Brian has almost reached 1.5 million words, and I'm at just over a million, so obviously he's well ahead. But it's close enough that we're in the same race, if indeed you can call it a race. It's not, really. But it's a nice sense of accomplishment.

So what's planned for 2016? Quite a lot! I'll go into that in the New Year, but for now I'll just quickly say there's the first book in the new Fog-related series, plus the fourth book in the Sleep Writer series, plus monthly short stories and perhaps a compilation ebook, AND something totally different and outside my usual genre and age group. As I said, more on all this in the New Year.

Until then... Happy Holidays, y'all, and thanks for reading my stories! :-)

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Wednesday, December 23, 2015...

Impressive! I would have to say working with you these many years has been the big reason I am where I am with my word count. Thanks for being a great sounding board and voice of critical reason with my works.

I can't wait to read more of your excellent projects.

Comment by BRIAN B. on Wednesday, December 23, 2015...

Congrats. Quite a body of work. Can't believe it was that long ago.
Here's mine:
122,710 words.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Wednesday, December 23, 2015...

Brian C - Ditto, right back atcha! I'm not sure if writing would be as much fun if you weren't around. I'm glad you got in touch all those years ago.

Brian B - Hey, 123K is not to be sneezed at! Honestly, though, I can't face writing another book around 100K as I used to, and I don't think I need to either. I've found that I've streamlined myself these days, so I can fit the same story into fewer words. I like the shorter books now. 55-70K is plenty. But yours is an adult book, so your total is in line with that.

Comment by ROSAMUND on Sunday, January 3, 2016...

Wow, mega impressive!!!

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