No, you don't get to read the first chapter here for free. Not yet, anyway.

(Hell, who would want to?)

Ok, enough negativity. Here's the story:

sacrifice [rewrite] ncount chapters/c01*
c01-1.nv: 2251, 52 (95)
c01-2.nv: 1575, 43 (80)
c01-3.nv: 2317, 56 (96)
c01-4.nv: 1915, 55 (78)
c01-5.nv: 1053, 33 (81)
9111

Nine thousand words for chapter one. If I pretend I know how many chapters are going to be involved--twelve?--that puts me at 108k. That's not terrible or anything, but 12 is an entirely wild-ass guess, so I'd say we could easily be off by a third. Specifically, I mostly mean I could have guessed one third too few. I doubt very seriously that twelve is too many.

I don't consider this encouraging news.

How long I would like the novel to be?

About 80,000 words. That could honestly be a little short for genre fiction; fantasy readers are nerdy and may want more bang for their buck, but I feel that fleshing things out would be easier than cutting them down. Besides, being on the short side makes you a cheaper/better bet for the publisher. Anyway, what the hell do I know? I'm just a clueless noob.

How long I think it will end up...

150k? Longer than I would like it to be. I have realized recently that my story simply isn't all that simple, no matter how much I try to refine it. It could be made simpler by just making it into a different story--leaving bits and pieces of it on the cutting room floor--but that's just not the story I feel like telling. I picked this one because it speaks to me. I don't want to change it.

I know, that's what all those asshole starving-ass artists say, but I have a day job that pays pretty darn well, so fuck off... >.>

What the hell am I gonna do?

I am making this post mostly to mark this decision: I am going to finish. I have been editing and re-editing this second-ish draft for the past several months now, usually just writing and rewriting the first scene or two or three. I have not made significant progress in terms of the plot since just before Thanksgiving at the end of last year. It's now January 12, so screw that.

What I've got right now is a protagonist, a villain, a secondary protagonist, a mentor, a secondary-ish mentor (is that a thing?) and a pretty strong conflict. Chapter one introduces the antagonist and the first threads of the main plot. I think all this is a good thing: my first draft of the story did not do any of that until like halfway through, partly because I didn't know who the bad guys were or what they wanted and partly because, honestly, I thought the secondary protagonist would also serve as the antagonist.

All this seems like a step in the right direction to me, so I'm just going to keep going. As for the possibility that it will be longer than I wanted it to be, I guess I will console myself by the fact that I type pretty fast.