Almost A Novel!

Underwood TypewriterAmargosa: Second Wave is rapidly approaching the 60,000-word mark. In fact, by the time you read this, it may have already reached the coveted 60K mark. Technically, a novel is anything over 40,000 words, but tell me when the last time you saw a new 40,000-word novel? I see a handful check in at 50-55K, but they are rare. And most are self-pubbed at that length.

The 60,000-word mark comes from the Private Eye Writers of America contest for first novel, and my first novel (as Jim Winter) checked in at 61K. Gee, wonder why it didn’t make the second round? Well, that and a problem with the first scene that ten betas missed before a well-known PI writer spotted it. But 60,000 is the benchmark. In fact, most traditional publishers want 90K.

So how am I going to reach that magic number in two days (since this is written on Sunday evening)? Yesterday was our New Year’s Day at work. And while I am writing this ahead of time, I can safely say that yesterday, I did nothing. And it was everything I hoped it could be. But regardless, I do my morning routine everyday, even on weekends and holidays. One of the perks of living alone. But I also opted to take a day off today as well. So getting up and doing my morning stuff included extra reading (Ken Bruen on Sunday and Monday, to feed my crime cravings, then an 87th Precinct novel) and extra writing.

Someone asked me if I planned on binge writing over the holidays. I haven’t done anything like that in a long time. I suppose a binge writing day is in the near future. I miss those. I remember when I’d given up writing for a time, then sat down and wrote the fiction rock star’s “autobiography,” I literally wrote 17,000 words in a weekend. It’s possible, but I was pent-up, inspired, and coming out of a dark place when that happened.

If I can up my morning sessions and go longer on weekends, the book may be done late next week. We’ll see. I’d like to put this one to bed as I have to revise it next month ahead of sending it off to Stacy Robinson to work on in March. I also need to get moving on the rest of the series, the last book of the Amargosa Trilogy, as well as new Jim Winter material.

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