With the release of Red Right Hand just over a week away, I thought it would be fun to once again 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 eagle-eyed readers. I’ve also tried to keep things spoiler-free.
Words, words, words…
# of words in Red Right Hand: 131,932
War and Peace: 587,287
See These Bones: 131,1501
# of chapters: 612
…including epilogues and interludes: 63
# of months to write Red Right Hand: 44
# of months to edit it: 1
# of times I announced how much I hated the book while re-reading it for the tenth or eleventh time: ∞
# of wayward commas that remain: I don’t even want to know
People are strange when you’re a stranger…
# of new named characters: 11ish?
…that the reader actually needs to keep track of: 7
# of duplicate character names I ended up with in the first draft: 35
…that I fixed during edits: 3
…and will probably unconsciously insert yet again as new side characters in One Tin Soldier: 3
# of new character names I intentionally used as winks to specific readers: 3
# of character names from See These Bones I really wish I could go back and change: 1
# of second-years in Damian’s class: 20 (including him)
…who Damian gets along with to some extent: 9
…and actually considers friends: 4
…and would probably kill the world for: 4
# of different cities visited: 3
…that I’ve actually been to in real life: 1
# of positive things said about Bakersfield, CA: 06
# of specific references to the pre-Break world: 10ish
…that are even close to accurate descriptions of 1980’s culture: 4
And… Other Stuff
# of expletives: 6897
…excluding words like damn, hell, and crap: 443
…that made it to the final draft: 443
…which I regretted when I realized my mom would be reading this book: 08
# of scenes that I winced my way through writing: 2
…and then did major edits to: 0
# of times I checked with my angel-wife to see if something that I’d just written seemed over the line: Way too many to count
…which she told me needed to change: 0
# of beta readers for Red Right Hand: 7
…who liked the book: 7
…and filled out the 27 question questionnaire I sent them: 2
And last but not least, some of the email subject lines I used when sending pages to my angel-wife for review during the writing of Red Right Hand:
- RRH, Chapters1-11
- RRH – chapters something to whatever
- mohr handzzz
- redredredredredredred hand
- It’s not red red wine, it’s a red right hand… (but now you’re probably thinking of the song, aren’t you)
- This is not the blue left foot you were looking for
- Title not provided for fear of possible retaliation
- Why is this suddenly a YA novel?
- Red right hand that’s falling off from typing too much
So… yeah. Living with me is an adventure. There’s a reason I call her my angel-wife. Nobody else would put up with this nonsense!
With next week being election week in the USA, I’ll be taking the week off. On November 10th, I’ll share content warnings and advance reviews, and celebrate the launch of Red Right Hand!
- That’s right… somehow Red Right Hand ended up being even longer than its predecessor. Not something I was expecting, even 80% of the way in.
- I tried to equalize chapter length this time around, with somewhat spotty results.
- I was happy to see a lot of readers liked IMV’s chapter subtitles, but those are going to remain a feature unique to that series!
- I know. I’m surprised too. It felt like years!
- I tend to just randomly grab a name when creating minor side characters. Two books in, that’s starting to be a problem. And somehow, Red Right Hand started out with three Shawns.
- One of my favorite reviews remains the one from See These Bones where someone who actually grew up in Bakersfield said how happy he was that Damian never had anything nice to say about it.
- A dramatic improvement (?) over the initial draft of See These Bones!
- Eh. By now, she’s used to it!