Well, I’m 143,900 words into Tourbillon, and I’m passing into the third act of the text, roughly speaking. As I may have mentioned before, I don’t consciously think in those terms, but sometimes it’s kind of obvious as the story shape flows by. I have bodies falling out of the sky, large scale scams going on, a World War in progress — pretty soon I’ll need to be wrapping some of them there plot threads, I’m thinking. Like, within the next 50,000 or 60,000 words. Given that the contract calls for 140,000 words, weeeeell…let’s just say there will be a lot of trimming in my future.
I’ve also overrun the outline a bit, and am genially mystified about the ending. This is fairly normal for me. Further, I’ve had a couple of big insights about the first two books that will drive this forward quite nicely I believe. Writing for me is a special case of reading — I discover the story as I go down the page, just like anyone else. It merely happens to be flowing from my fingertips as I go. (Which explains why I almost invariably write in reading order, incidentally, even with very layered or complex plots.)
As I say to everyone else, write more.