I just wrote the final scene of Picking up the Ghost.
68,681 words
274 pages

And I’m still only half way done. I still have a half-dozen scenes that need to be finished and tied together with a subplot. Then there’s probably a hundred or so details that need to be filled in. And that’s just the first draft. From experience I figure the number of words I still need to add will be equal to the number of words that are going to be edited out during the second draft.

If the first draft is challenging physically, the the second draft is challenging emotionally. That’s where I discover some really embarrassing passages. Like a paragraph consisting of five sentences all beginning with “He went…” or a scene where a felt that detail about a character’s appearance was so important that I mentioned it four times in two pages using exactly the same words.

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