In the world of news (of me), my Twelfth Planet collection … is officially delivered.
A little under a week ago, in the bleary hours of the morning, with my eyes pointing in different directions and the room a little wobblier than I prefer it, I handed in a workable draft of the final story.
The collection is in no way done done, of course. I've the final edits to go on all the stories, but that's line editing1 and it won't involve the crippling doubts of never quite finding a workable ending.
But the stories are written. Beginning, middle and a hopefully cohesive end for each of them.
And if I'm going to be honest, that's something I completely lost faith in achieving this past year. Toddlerhood is not big on sharing.
Out of curiosity (and/or a morbid habit of giving my mind ammunition with which to punish me), I looked through my statistics spreadsheet and discovered:
- The very first words on "The Wages of Honey" were written in 2007. 2007! Who was I then? I have no idea anymore. The story went through 6 drafts over 5 years (I was writing/publishing The Binding books during that point in time, so Wages of Honey kept getting picked up and put down again).
- I started "The Briskwater Mare" in 2012. It, too, underwent 6 drafts; in 18 months this time (January 2012 – July 2013). Swift I am not. It clocked in at around 12,000 words, but over the 6 drafts I actually wrote 58,000 new words to end up with those 12,000.
- "The Cherry Crow Children of Haverny Wood" took 13 months, spread over 2 years, to write (July-November 2012, January-May 2013, and September-November 2014). I toiled through 7 drafts and wrote a whopping 102,000 new words to end up with a 22,000-word story.
- "The Miseducation of Mara Lys" (aka Clockmakers) took me 15 months, spread over 2 years (May-November 2013 and January-August 2014) and 6 drafts. The finished story is 19,000 words, and I wrote 67,000 new words to find them.
- In 2014, I have only worked on Cherry Crow and Clockmakers.
- Counting only Briskwater, Cherry Crow and Clockmakers, since the start of 2012 I've written 227,000 new words. Only 53,000 of them were good enough to stay.2 Plaguey little blighters, words. Get in everywhere.