As of 8:22 PM Pacific time tonight, Monday, May 16, 2016, I completed the first draft of the new book.
...I am so tired.
But I'm very pleased to say that I don't hate it. That's always a worry, you know - it's happened to me often enough that I've finished something only to immediately close the file and never open it again. What remains to be seen is if, when I open it again, probably at the start of July, I read through it and decide if it's worth putting through the editing process and pursuing publication.
I think this one's going to be. This thing was a hell of a lot of fun to write. I got to visit seven different worlds, deal with a crew of six where only two of them are humans, and put these people through more kinds of hell than I've put characters through in a long time. Seriously. I think the only one who comes out of this thing physically unscathed is the wargolem, and that's because it's hard to scathe someone who's made of such a hard metal.
Yes, 'scathe' is a word. And everyone gets their share of mental hardship.
It's a weird kind of relief to have this thing done. I've been hammering away on it every night for exactly a month (started it on April 16), and I wrote fourteen pages of it this weekend, as I wanted to plow through the third act and get the thing done. I don't know why I suddenly felt like pulling time and a half on my writing sessions, but it worked; the book's endgame played out pretty much exactly like I had it in my head, and if it actually is as good as I think it is, I'll be very pleased.
The final word count comes out to 91,748. This is quite a bit less than I thought it would be, but I know that's going to change in editing. I tend to overwrite, but I've also been considering adding some scenes to give two characters more time in the spotlight. Adding these scenes would also throw in a brief jungle adventure, complete with lost ancient temple, and really, who doesn't love a jungle adventure?
For anyone who thinks that 91K words in a month is a lot: I started planning this book nearly two years ago. I developed the basics of the magic system in a hotel on my way to my new home in Washington, back on February 28th of last year. So while I might get through my first drafts with some speed, I don't think it quite counts when it takes me so incredibly long to develop the plot and get it to the point that I can start writing the thing.
As for the story itself, I discussed it a little in this month's IWSG entry - it's a fantasy space opera about a crew of mostly non-humans and their interplanar spaceship, and they're in a world-hopping race/scavenger hunt. It's heavily influenced by two things. The first is the TV series Firefly and its accompanying movie Serenity, a sci-fi western that I'm willing to believe most of y'all reading this already know about. The second is the anime Outlaw Star, which came out in the late 1990s and also features the adventures of a greatly mixed cast on their damn cool spaceship.
This is a book that wears its influences on its sleeve, so I decided to give it a title befitting that. Both of the above series are named after their spaceships, and the book follows in that path.
The name of the book is STARWIND.
08/19/2016 edit: I added the jungle adventure. NOW the book is done, three days later... The final first draft word count is 98356. Yeah. ^_^