Last time on Volume Six Status Update (which was over FOUR MONTHS AGO, whaaat?) I said that I had reached the 62,000-word mark but then I realized that I was spinning my wheels and was quite possibly building on a flawed foundation so I went back and started again from scratch and got it back up to 28,000 words.
Well now, I'm done.
As in, I've finished the story according to how I originally mapped it out, resulting in a draft that is 90,000 words (approximately 360 pages) long. I know there are still some things that need to be cleaned up, and I'm sure the third act is a bit of a mess, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. A few weeks ago, I adopted a daily mantra of "it's only the first draft, just write anything," which really helped me get it to the finish line (you would think that, six books into this whole deal, I would've adopted that mantra a lot sooner, but, well, to paraphrase the Doctor, forgetting is a human superpower).
So now, as per the usual process, I'm letting the draft cool off for a little while before I go back and submerge myself in the revision and rewriting process. My guess is that I'll have something ready to send to my editor early next year, which would keep me on track for a late 2022 or early 2023 release, right in line with the overall schedule for the series (i.e. a new volume every other year or so). Editor's note: the draft will be sent for editing in December!
I can say that this volume is probably the most ambitious so far, not only because of its length (which, if it holds, will make it the longest Joel Suzuki book to date) but also because it has so much stuff going on and, as the penultimate entry in the main 7-book story arc, really raises the level of stakes, action, and character development (do Joel and Felicity finally kiss?* You'll just have to wait to find out).
Anyway, stay tuned for more updates!
* Felicity: do we what, now?