The first quarter of the year is officially done and dusted. The clocks have gone forward an hour (in my neck of the woods, at any rate), Spring has sprung, Easter is only a week away, and work continues apace with Anna Scavolini’s next mystery, Women Who Kill.
Since we last spoke, I’ve managed to add a further 42,000 words to the second draft manuscript, bringing the total to just over 89,000. I’ve wrestled with a couple of particularly tricky chapters and lived to tell the tale, which pleases me no end as I hadn’t been looking forward to tackling them. I’m now a whisker away from getting stuck into Part Five (of six), so the end is very much in sight, if not quite within touching distance.
All in all, Women Who Kill is shaping up to have a final word count similar to its predecessor, The Shadow Men, which clocked in at 141,000. That’s arguably more than is ideal (conventional wisdom has it that the typical crime novel should fall around the 90,000-word range), but, with that said, few people seemed to mind The Shadow Men’s length, so perhaps it’s time I let go of my hang-ups about word counts and simply accept that it’ll be as long or as short as it needs to be.
And it’s not as if I haven’t made considerable strides towards reining things in. At this point in the previous draft, the word count stood at around 115,500. Therefore, I’ve already succeeded in jettisoning 26,000 words that, on reflection, were surplus to requirements, and there should be ample scope for doing more of the same as we progress into the final third of the book.