I have passed the 50,000 word mark for Devils' Den. This is the first book of my dark fantasy series, and quite a different genre for me, too.
One of the best compliments I get for the Darkness Series is the originality of plot and characters, which is good because it apparently works. I have no doubt that Devils' Den is filled with originality of its own. In fact, it's so different that I hope I don't alienate my audience. Perhaps it's my self-doubt that makes me question the uniqueness of the story. I don't know. But in The Game of Pawns, I introduced a quartet of new characters that I almost cut from the story because I didn't believe my audience would like them. Feedback has been overwhelming at how much they are LOVED. So cutting them would have been like cutting my own throat.
Being a novelist is a lonely occupation because I sit and write what I hope will become a great story, but yet, I will question myself unmercifully until the end. I actually held off sending Beyond the Darkness to print an additional six months because of this inner doubt. I believe other authors experience this as well.
At the rate Devils' Den is progressing I believe I should be finished with the novel this month. However, that's in what I consider the first draft. I will have my editing friend, Ann, take a read through and possibly one other. When I am writing a novel, I start back with the previous three pages from the day before and revise them. I do this to refresh my mind on what I've written, plus tighten up the prose and dialogue. At each 15,000 word point, I will go to the beginning of the manuscript, read and revise until I reach the end point. This way I keep polishing the novel until I've finished the first draft.
Once I've reach the end of the novel, I will reread the entire manuscript two more times, and sometimes more than that. Even after it goes to print, I still wonder if I've done enough.