Here’s where we stand:
Eleven chapters have been posted to the web. No money has been contributed toward Chapter Twelve; in fact, I’m still $2.00 short for Chapter Eleven.
Fourteen chapters have been e-mailed to donors.
I’ve finished writing Chapter Fifteen, and just started Chapter Sixteen.
However, at the end of Chapter Fifteen Carlisle Hsing figured out a big chunk of the mystery — she had to, if I didn’t want her to look stupid — and now I’m thinking I could maybe wrap this up in about eighteen to twenty chapters, rather than the twenty-five I’d previously estimated. That would make for a pretty short novel, though of course it would get longer in rewrite.
I know a lot of authors cut stuff in rewrite, but I almost never do; instead I fill in details I’d skipped over. It’s not unusual for me to add as much as 25,000 words to a 100,000-word novel.
In this case, the first draft might come in as short as 55,000 words — about the length of a typical Ace Double, nowhere near the modern norm.
The up side is that it would be done sooner; the down side is that I’d feel as if I was cheating folks who paid $25.00 for a book that short. If it comes to that, I’ll want to think of some way to make up the difference for donors.
Not to mention whatever standards FoxAcre Press may have; I haven’t yet discussed the matter there.
But of course, it may not come to that at all; I’ve grossly misjudged how long a story needs to be before. The folk-tales in Among the Powers were originally added because the novel was below Avon’s minimum length, and Dragon Weather ran 20,000 words longer than I’d intended.
So I’m going to keep writing it, and see what happens. If it comes out too short, well… the first draft may turn out to not be the entire story.