Most of the time when I'm working on a piece (short story or novel), I can forecast the length pretty accurately. In fact, I can write to length at need, which is sometimes handy in short fiction marketing. (See my previous posts on "span of control
" for some further insights into this.)Endurance
has been a bit of an exception. The book is proceeding at a pace which seems very organic, at least to this draft. I wrote the outline, I know what's coming, but I've been so focused on the scene-by-scene stuff that I haven't developed good sense of the size of the overall arc. Fred is in something of a panic to get this book out before the cancer hammer comes down, methinks. So for no particular reason, it came to me in the shower this morning that this first draft will be about 160,000 words long. As I plan to deliver the final draft to Tor at less than 135,000 words, that's fine for my process.
I could be wrong, a lot
wrong, in either direction on that first draft length. But for now I'm willing to put that stick in it and call that an aiming point.