So the exploratory draft of Faerie Winter was very much about getting something on the page so that I would have, well, something there to write from. It was a scant 48,000 words, and the whole time I felt like I was pulling straw out of air. I really did have to get the wrong story out of the way to tell the right one: the first draft was set in the wrong town, focused on the wrong characters, and had the wrong events. Though it sort of ended in the right place, until that place changed.
The exploratory draft of new book is behaving a bit differently. I’m at nearly 30,000 words without half trying, and I suspect those words may actually be in the vague vicinity of the right story. But emphasis on the vague, and emphasis too on the padding: after 30,000 words, I’ve found one scene that will be in the book. A second is coming clear through the mist that will probably join it. And in another 5K or so, and I may actually get to the place where the real story starts. Maybe. All the rest is so much chatter. With occasional breaks for drama.
I suspect I’m not getting out of this one in under 50,000 words. But I may manage it in under 100,000.
Or, as sometimes happens, things might gain speed. Looking back, at 25,000 words of the first draft of Faerie Winter, it doesn’t sound like much plot had shown up yet either. I do have this way of forgetting, from one draft to the next.
Every time is the first time, or something like that.
Oh, but speaking of exploratory drafts, for the record–this scene out of the first draft of Faerie Winter? Totally went away. Character in question never even showed up on stage, and so avoided his untimely demise.