As you can see in the above image, I crossed a threshold with the rough draft of The Inversion Solution. 100,000 words!
It's exciting that since I retired, I've made a lot of meaningful progress on this book, along with many other writing-related things. New covers for all my books, the pre-order release of The Assassin's Cunning, and The Inversion Solution pre-order, too (A big THANK YOU to everyone who has pre-ordered either of these books. It means a lot to me). Of course, there's still a lot more work to do, but reaching this milestone warranted a very short celebratory fist pump before I hunkered down and kept writing. As of now, I'm 107,538 words into this first draft. It's trending toward about 130,000 words, so at my current pace of 7,000 or so words per week, I expect to have the first draft completed in about four weeks.
You'll notice a lot of "about's" being used. I obviously can't predict the exact length of a novel, though I know from my previous books that mine tend to come in at around 120,000 words. This one, however, will likely finish higher than that simply because my chapter word counts are higher than usual (6,500 vs. a more usual 5,000). That's OK for now and doesn't mean anything until I've gone through multiple editing iterations. The word count can and will change, in other words. That's writing.
The biggest reason for the increased word count is that there are A LOT of story threads happening now. There's Aaron and his mission to solve the inversion problem. There's Serena, who has a problem of her own to figure out. Then there's Jakinda, who needs to come to terms with events in The Nullification Engine, and Jacob, who has a new job and a new directive to find a cure for his love interest's malady. Also, there's Ensel Rhe, Ursool, Krosus, the hell hounds, and... sheesh. How am I keeping all of this straight? Needless to say, a lot is going on in this book, and a lot is going on in the series. I'm still expecting four books in total, though.
That's all for now. I've got some more words to get done. As a reminder, The Inversion Solution is available for pre-order from all major online retailers. The official release date is April 18, 2023.