Filling in (and some maths).

I’ve been wrestling with my novel this week.

I’m partial to writing new scenes even though they have nowhere to go but recently I wrote a scene that I liked so much I had to use it. The problem was finding somewhere for it to go.

While I was sitting editing my novel while I was on holiday (I know, I never stop.) I came across a paragraph I’d written but never really resolved. It was about a certain conflict between several of my characters, which after the mention that it had once happened, was never alluded to or mentioned again.

Now, this incident has been in both drafts of my novel and to keep in it the third draft I realised that I must actually make it happen.

Here enters the aforementioned scene. I looked around the manuscript and its older counterpart and figured out where this scene could go. Adding a little to the end of the original scene I had found myself with enough conflict that the incident mentioned in chapter 15 could now actually happen. I just have that scene to write.

As I said at the beginning, I like writing scenes that I know will never make it into the final draft of my novel because I like to know what happens outside of the isolated scenes that my reader will get to see. But I’ve come to find recently that these throwaway scenes are becoming very useful.

The original draft of my novel was 56, 190 words long and the second was 58, 270. The average length of an adult novel is 80,000 to 120,000 words, so based on my last draft I was 21,730 words short. That’s a surprising number of words.

According to my last attempt at calculation comparing my current draft to my last draft (I count up to the part I’m on new draft on the old version) I have 4, 517 more words than I did when I was at this part of my novel last time, so while it’s not a huge amount, those extra scenes are coming in handy.

And, just as a side note, I’m definitely making sure that I’m not just throwing them in. I’m considering the novel as a whole.

Current word count: 37, 297
Currently reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

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