Last night, I was reading on a blog that belongs to a literary agent company and got sticker shock. One of the blog posts by one of the agents gave the numbers for word counts of varying types of books. So, naturally, I copied and pasted my novel into a single document (instead of the individual chapters that it is in while I'm working on it) and checked the total.
Now, I have been very aware that what I have in the first draft is the skeleton of the novel. In the second draft, I've been adding to the story, rewriting scenes that don't work, and fleshing things out. I'm aware that my descriptive passages are pretty scant, and that my dialogues are few. Most of the book is the bare bones of action that get us from the start to the end, and it's getting beefed up. Slowly, but surely.
Turns out, I have a little over half a book.
Even knowing that I'm adding muscle to the bones, I'm still in shock. I didn't think I was quite that short (roughly 35,000 words short) of having a viable novel. It's a bit disheartening.
It's not as though I can't write another 35K words. In fact, I knew the story was going to be longer after this rewrite. I haven't even gotten to the part that needs the most added to it. And, I'm still planning to write multiple books in this series, so that's not much in the broader scheme of things. It's not as though I won't write more. I'm not going to just give up and say, "Well, I'm pooched," and just forget the whole thing. That would be silly. But it is a little discouraging to know that I'm that far from being marketable.
So, now I get to take that new-found knowledge and put it to use. I'm treading that line between "just sit and write and don't worry about all that other stuff" and "study the requirements so that you know how to tailor what you're doing to the market for it." Wish me sanity!