With the release of See These Bones now less than two weeks away, I thought it would be fun to take a break from all the process-heavy, behind-the-scenes posts to share some quick, mainly ridiculous, stats about the book. All numbers provided here represent my best guesses after a less-than-careful review of the manuscript, and I reserve the right to be proven utterly incorrect by future readers. I’ve also tried to keep things spoiler-free.
War and Peace: 587,287
A Game of Thrones: 298,000
# of words a modern publisher prefers in a book from a debut author: 100,000 or less2
# of chapters: 73
…including epilogues and interludes: 76
# of named characters: 71
…with at least one line: 50
…that the reader actually needs to keep track of: ~10-15
# of incoming first-years in Damian’s class: 25
…who ever get named in the course of the book: 21
…and have at least one line: 18
…and whose names and/or descriptions I may have forgotten at some point during the writing process: 6+
# of positive things said about Bakersfield, CA: 1
…other than it having weather better suited for funerals than Los Angeles: 0
# of specific references to the pre-Break world: 14
…that are even close to accurate descriptions of 1980s culture: 8
And… Other Stuff
# of expletives in my original draft: 993
…excluding words like damn, hell, and crap4: 778
…that made it to the near-final draft: 639
…which I regretted when I realized my mom would be reading this book: 639
…and then, upon reflection, opted to remove: 0
# of drinking scenes: 3
…that end badly: 3
# of whisky references: 1
Hours of research to make sure that one reference was accurate: ~4
Hours spent searching if that specific bottle was available for purchase anywhere5: 12+
# of times Damian gets his ass kicked: Way too many to count
…by classmates: Still too many to count
…and by friends: 26
Next week, I’ll be back with Chapter 4 of See These Bones.
- We use word count for length, because, as every college freshman knows, page count depends on margin, font, line spacing and a bunch of other things, most of which are adjustable on e-readers
- I can’t overstate how nice it is to just type ‘Chapter’, followed by the #, and then move on with my life.
- Which google tells me are technically expletives. Whoops!
- It was not. Not that I would’ve been able to afford it anyway!
- Which probably says more about his ability to make friends than anything!