As the word count passed 97,680 this afternoon, ‘Nymph Story’ put The Chosen in the rear-view mirror in terms of length. Not that it means anything until the book is actually finished and all the editing has been done (although with several chapters to go, it should retain its top spot).
I don’t set out to write anything with a specific length in mind (unless it happens to be for a contest or publication with such constraints), I just try to tell the story that I have within my head. That isn’t to say I’m not disappointed if something comes in a little shorter than I had expected, or filled with pride when I hit a milestone. Watching Word’s word-counter tick upwards gives a nice sense of accomplishment when my sales (so far) have offered very little.
The story itself, aside from not having an actual title, is going very well. It is my most complex and character-driven work thus far, so keeping track of them all and their avenues has been fun and challenging. As it involves nymphs, sex is a key theme in many ways. I really set out to challenge as many concepts of ‘normal’ as I could without being too ham-fisted about it.
In the end, I think more characters will have changed how they think of themselves, and how they view the world than in any other work I’ve done. That in itself is most important to writing I think, leaving with something different than what you started with.