I’ve been a busy bee since last November. I finally found a system to writing that takes advantage of the hours when I’m still productive. It’s not as fast as when I was writing full-time, but it’s more than I was doing for two and a half years.
I finished writing SPIDER (Arcanium Book 6) mid-November, then started on FUNHOUSE (Arcanium Book 7 and 8 – it’s a two-parter) right afterward. Finished that in February. I was trying something new for Arcanium, a soft reboot, and it ended up making both stories much longer than the others, because they weren’t one-shots like the others. SPIDER’s first draft came in at 151K words, and FUNHOUSE clocked in at 199K words.
After three rounds of edits, I cut SPIDER down to 123K before submitting it yesterday, roughly two years after first starting (had to stop because it wasn’t working, worked on NOCTURNAL CREATURES instead) and a year after trying again. That’s still long, but if necessary, there are a few other things I can remove – it just wouldn’t improve the story to do so at this point. However, no amount of cutting is going to keep FUNHOUSE in one book, hence the two-parter.
I was upset about it for a while. Still am. But there’s nothing left to be done unless I want to scrap the three-book arc altogether and start over again, which I really don’t want to do, because the stories are good. I’ve grown in the two years since the first five Arcanium novels. The storylines are more ambitious. But long novels can be expensive through a publishing house, so even though I don’t want to split FUNHOUSE, it must be done, and I hope you can forgive me for any irritation that comes from that.
However, it was really nice to be finished with SPIDER. Because FUNHOUSE was so much longer than expected, I’m about a month behind on my flexible schedule, so I had to do my edits in a hardcore fashion that makes it more difficult for me, but the outcome was worth it. I have a project to complete for April, but I should be able to get started on FUNHOUSE edits in May to finish in June. Then I’ll probably have another project to work on before starting to write SKELETON (Book 9). Hard to imagine I’ve written that much just within my wonderful demonic circus universe.
Time for stats, because I like numbers.
First draft word count: 151,181 words
Submitted draft word count: 123,034 words
Projected word count: 100,000 words (If I drank, this is why I’d drink.)
Days to write: I wasn’t keeping track this time. There were a lot of breaks. Let’s say a cumulative three months.
First line: “In retrospect, Elizabeth should have looked up what kind of circus Arcanium was before bringing the Bishop children.”
Largest number of sexual participants at once: 6. Boom.
Number of sex scenes: Roughly 8? But there’s a shit-ton of sexual tension, and the scenes themselves are intense.
I did a lot of things where I’m not sure whether I’ll have to tone them down or not, because Arcanium tends to push the envelope, and the issue of consent comes up a lot in SPIDER and FUNHOUSE due to plotty things. The fact that it’s horror erotica means that I hope people know what they’re getting into, but I still worry.
And because of the nature of SPIDER specifically, I paired a number of things with my sex scenes that don’t normally get paired with sex, which makes me happy. I hope they let me keep Arcanium hella weird. Because it’s only going to get weirder.