The Ship Finding God, that is. At 83,000 words, and some change.
Of course, that’s just the first draft, which is far from an actual finish. The wood has to be sanded and treated and then several coats of varnish applied before it’s ready for public use. If history is any judge, whipping it into shape ought to bring it down to a fighting weight of about 75-78,000 words. From boat building to fight training, how do ya like those metaphor mixes?
It is, for all intents and purposes, though, done. The frame of the story is right where I want it, which is somewhat surprising. Usually, about halfway through a first draft, I run into some unforeseen event that completely changes my direction. In the first Ship book, it was Otto’s rejection as a crew member. Up to that point, I’d seen his joining the crew as a given, and the rest of the book progressing through a series of engineering issues. But, one day, while I was minding my own business, the idea of Otto getting kicked out of Star City took over, and the book changed from Asimov to Tolkien. In the second one, I started out keeping the crew intact…and then, next thing I knew, crew members began disappearing. That changed it from Tolkien to Stephen King.
But, that didn’t happen this time. The original idea remained pretty much intact all the way through, although several unanticipated characters show up. What’s that original idea, you ask? That finding God may not actually be the point.
Which means the title is not a spoiler.