This is a quick status report as to where I am in the first draft. As of the moment this blog appears, I’ve written about 99,000 words divided into 22 chapters. The number of chapters may go up and I may add an epilogue and a glossary. Don’t know yet.

For the record, the font I use is 12 point Bookman Old Style font. It takes up more space than Times or Times Roman, but it is easier for my old eyes to read. The manuscript is spaced with 1.5 spaces per line, so as of the moment, the book is 333 pages long.

My guess is that it will ultimately be about 115,000 – 120,000 words long and about 450 - 460 pages. Right now, that's an educated guess.

Normally, when I go back an edit it the first time, the number of words expands about five or ten percent because I find passages that need to be added or fleshed out in more detail. Then, I go back and start trimming. Sometimes the number of words comes down, other times it increases.

Some people will tell you that the ideal manuscript should be 80,000 – 100,000 words long. I find that to be nonsense. Here’s the rough length of my five published works: • Cherubs 2 – 115,000

• Big Mother 40 – 127,000 – it was an Amazon best seller and was rated as one of the top 100 war novels.

• Render Harmless – 174,000

• Forgotten – 194,000 – won three national awards

• Inner Look – 149,000 – won one national award

Now you know why I am not worried about the length or the number of pages or the chapters. It will be what it will be. As long as the story is well told, nothing else matters. More on this when I finish.