I finished writing the first draft to my sixth full-length Jaclyn Johnson thriller. TRAVEL AGENT, yesterday. My 21st novel, done and dusted, completed. Just shy of 90,000 words--I'm sure that I'll surpass that in subsequent drafts as new scenes and more detail enter the story--with somewhere in the vicinity of 50,000 coming in the last three weeks.
This was a rather fun tale to tell, as with most of my stories: I didn't struggle with this one like I struggled with INCINERATION, which I'm going to begin editing in a couple of weeks, or with LITERARY AGENT last year. I did, however, have a good eight weeks during the first draft stage where I didn't even as much as look at the book (pre-wedding stuff, farm stuff, a friend's wedding that I was in, the wedding itself, then the World Cup, family gatherings, et cetera). It was on July 9 when I finally had nothing going on. I sat down, opened the file, and started churning out the prose.
This past week, though, my writing became a freight train. I started writing solid word counts that just got away from me. On Saturday, I started writing early in the morning and managed to crank out 5,440 words in about seven hours. I took a nap and, with not much left in the book, cranked out about 1,800 words or so.
Then, yesterday morning, I wrote a scene that I had wanted to write for quite a few years, ending the book at 87,211 words after a two-hour session. Again, I'll add to the book later. As I wrote a few days ago, I'll put TRAVEL AGENT on the shelf until November; quite possibly Thanksgiving, depending on how the revisions for INCINERATION and THE ORIGINAL OBLOERON TRILOGY go. Just shifting gears and projects, keeping my mind fresh.
Over the next few weeks, though, I'm planning on relaxing. Very little in the way of words and worlds will get in my way as I forget about being an author for a little bit. Hopefully I'll finish my A DANCE WITH DRAGONS re-read this week. I picked up a few books last week, and I have plenty on my Kindle to read, too. When we get back from Truro in the middle of the month, I'll dive into the INCINERATION edits. I also have to give a final edit to Jen's cousin Foster Haskell's debut novel, APPRENTICE OF THE RAIN, before he releases it.
Happy reading, and happy end of the book!