For anyone that follows my website, I will first ask you why. What possessed you to do such a thing? You might also want to ask me a question, though: Why haven’t you updated the website in two weeks? To that, I have two answers:
- I have updated it: exactly two weeks after my last post, thank you very much.
- I’ve been busy ploughing through my second draft rewrites. With days only having twenty-four hours, and those twenty-four hours being split between my kids, my wife and my job, with writing Till Death Do Us Party filling the gaps, articles and stories for the website aren’t coming as thick and fast as I would like.
I will offer this, though. I had intended to write another piece about this earlier in the process, so I wasn’t covering off more than half the book in a single post; I thought I’d take a break after finishing act two. That wasn’t the case, and I wasn’t going to break up the momentum I had. Hell, the way momentum kept increasing, I didn’t even notice a breakpoint there.
And for anyone that doesn’t follow my website, I will also ask you why. I know I just asked those who do why they would do such a thing, but if you don’t, you’re missing out. So, to catch you up on this process, I have included links to the first two parts in this series below:
In the latter of those updates, I mentioned I had fifteen chapters to go, and yet in this post, I have mentioned sixteen chapters. Yes, I counted correctly; no, this is not another example of me miscounting. While undertaking my red pen edits of then Chapter 20, “What a Fucking Hellhole,” it became apparent that the story required another chapter. I’d introduced the chapter with an overview of events that had happened between chapters.
It all seemed minor at the time. However, in re-reading and editing this work, it wasn’t as minor as I had considered. It was also a horrid example of telling and not telling, which is something that I’ve been careful about through the writing, and particularly the rewriting.
And so a new Chapter 20 was born, filling this gap: “I See Fields of Green; Other Shit, Too.” If you see a theme between those titles, please rest assured I am not filling every chapter title with offensive language, these are the only ones with swears (although, Chapter 19’s title does include the word “Buttmunch”).
While writing the new Chapter 20, it became abundantly clear to me that there was enough material skirted over to fill an entire chapter, and easily. “I See Fields of Green; Other Shit, Too” came in at 5,166 words: the sixth longest chapter at this point. For comparison’s sake, the shortest is Chapter 11, “The Manservant and the Tourist” (see, no swears!) at 2,460 words.
Interestingly (to me, but I know mileage will vary), “What a Fucking Hellhole” grew. While still shorter than the new chapter, and despite me removing swathes of text which simply repeated information from the previous one, it still grew by 219 words, from 4,816 to 5,035.
The word count growing is something that has happened with every chapter. In the previous post, I mentioned how much the initial chapters grew by, and I have included these below again, along with Chapters 15 to 20:
- Chapters 1-5: Originally 17,291 words, increasing to 20,284 (increasing by 17.3%);
- Chapters 6-14: Originally 29,806 words, increasing to 31,421 (increasing by 5.4%); and
- Chapters 15-30: Originally 64,479 words, increasing to 72,289 (increasing by 12.1%).
The majority of this increase can be attributed to the insertion of the new Chapter 20, with its 5,166 forming most of the 7,810 extra words. Without this addition, the overall word count would have increased by 1.04%. Not a great deal in the grand scheme of things.
I will be interested to see what my final revision does to the word count, as I remove unnecessary words and expand on other parts. I expect to see a fairly small increase across the board, but it’s about as unscientific a guesstimate you’ll likely find this side of politicians making “evidence based” decisions.
A breakdown of the current chapter lengths it included in the graph below:
Depending on how work progresses when I jump back into the draft in a couple of days (my brain needs a brief break from it), there will at least be one more update in this “Draft Deux” series, about how those rewrites go. I may write one update at the end, or I may write up a few regular updates. Stay tuned (and read below, for the finest way to stay tuned!).
As I always do at the end of these updates, I’ll direct you to my newsletter, “The Wonderful World of Was”. It’s a tidy way of getting monthly updates about the website and the progress of Till Death Do Us Party. If that’s not enough to continue, every time I see an increase in subscriber numbers, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling. You’re not going to get a better win-win situation than that.