It's nice to be able to report progress again! I hope I'm not shocking anybody by posting to my blog a second time within the same month. The feeling is just too good, so I thought I'd share it.
I mentioned in my last posting I have two chapters to finish before the current sequence in the JASPER novel is complete. I finished the first of these two chapters, along with some additional editing elsewhere in the sequence.
The new chapter runs a little long still, around 3800 words. Up to this point, I've kept my chapters generally in the 2500-to-3000-word range. The new chapter is solid enough that I'll leave any additional tightening for later. That will be purely an editing issue, not a story issue. I'll trim the good stuff where I can, but not because of unneeded digression--there is none. The chapter stayed on course.
I mentioned in my last posting that I had a previous draft of the chapter to draw from. Well, that version was actually twice as long as it needed to be, and it took more than shortening. I ended up rewriting it, borrowing bits and pieces here or there but substantially reworking it. It's a new chapter now, even though it draws from the flow of the previous version of it. No problem, and I love the way it comes together in the end. I've had a lot of success with building chapters to some sort of chapter-level climax. In fact, all the chapters in this novel end with a tight focus on a key story issue. It don't get much better than that! (*grin*)
As things are progressing, it's looking increasingly like my word-count estimate of 60k for the finished text, an estimate which has already grown to 72k, may soon grow to 80k. Yep. Probably 80k. That's only 20k over my original intention. Didn't miss it by much as novel-writing goes, but I'm glad I'm not the navigator for a Mars probe.
Best wishes for staying on target with your writing,