I realized today that a chapter or two back, my web serial Capricious passed 50,000 words. That’s a respectable small book length! Considering that the first draft was about 35,000 words, I think I’m doing splendidly at fleshing it out. We are in the falling action now, with things getting resolved rapidly, without new things being introduced.
Part of what is interesting to me is what doesn’t make it into the book. I know things about Fox Pass and the myth-folk therein that my readers won’t ever know, like who Luke’s brothers are, and what Sally was like as a little girl, and how Luke spent his college years (ok, that one’s pretty easy to guess), and what the librarian is like. I know things about their past lives, about their futures, that would never matter to the book. I know what they’ve been doing in their lives that had nothing to do with the story. Occasionally I get to put a glimpse of those things into the actual story, like when they drop in on Cormick and find him baking up a storm. I wish I could tell you all everything! But I won’t, because 1) they don’t matter to the story, so they have to be left out, and 2) it would be a huge, rambling, random stream of consciousness essay with no paragraph breaks, structure or coherence. No one wants that.
I must adhere to Strunk and White’s words of wisdom: Delete unnecessary words. But dang, sometimes it’s hard.