With the release of One Tin Soldier just five days 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 One Tin Soldier: 117,757 (including the two most important words: the end)
# of words in the entire series: 380,8391
# of chapters: 57
…including epilogues and interludes: 59
…which were deemed ‘too short’ by a certain one of my sainted beta readers: Many. Oh so many.
# of months to write One Tin Soldier: 2.52
# of months to edit it: 1.53
# of times I announced how much I hated the book while re-reading it for the tenth or eleventh time: 0! (I know… I’m as surprised as you are! Somehow, I still enjoy it every time I read it.)
# of wayward commas that remain after edits: Frankly, nowhere near enough. I’m tempted to go sprinkle in some additional commas right now. Especially since I need something to replace all the semi-colons I ended up being told to remove.
People are strange when you’re a stranger…
# of new named characters: Literally dozens. I’m sorry. To you, but especially to my audiobook narrator, who will have to handle all the new voices and will somehow make it look easy.
…that the reader actually needs to keep track of: All of them, of course. Otherwise, why would I write them? No.. it’s actually kind of a sliding scale, depending on what’s happening in the book.
# of duplicate character names I ended up with in the first draft: 14
…that were referring to entirely different species: 15
# of new character names I intentionally used as winks to some of my much-loved readers, friends, and family: 2
# of soldiers in the book that aren’t “tin”6: Well, I guess it technically depends on your definition of soldier. And also tin. (For those who are unaware, the book title comes from a protest song in the 60s. It will all make sense. I hope.)
# of different places visited during the book: So many. So, so many. This book is very much a road trip.
…that I’ve actually been to in real life: 2
…or received fantastic descriptions of from people who had been there in real life: 4
…that are anything like they are in our world and time period: ~1?
# of positive things said about Bakersfield, CA: 07
# of specific references to the pre-Break world: A bunch
…that are even close to accurate descriptions of 1980’s culture or US history: 0. Damian has some very interesting ideas about pre-Break history. And baseball, for that matter. Maybe he shouldn’t have slept through Amos’ History classes.
# of horses that show up in One Tin Soldier8: At least a hundred, though most don’t get specific mentions
…whose names are mentioned in the text: 3
…and who try to kill Damian multiple times: 1
…but remain certain beta readers’ favorite characters anyway: 1
And… Other Stuff
# of hours spent stressing about this book: Cue the “It’s been 84 years…” gif meme.
# of times a positive review for See These Bones or Red RIght Hand made me worry about how that reader would respond to One TIn Soldier: ∞². (Writers are a neurotic bunch.)
# of expletives this time around: 7059
…excluding words like damn, hell, and crap: 499
# of times I got emotional during my readthroughs: 0
# of times I actually got emotional during my readthroughs: Hey! I already told you 0! Why are you assuming I’m lyi–
# of times I actually actually got emotional during my beta edit passes: I… refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I might incriminate myself. Let’s just say I’m both very happy and very sad to bring this trilogy to a close!
One Tin Soldier releases next Tuesday!!! I cannot wait for you all to finally read it!
- Yes, One Tin Soldier is the shortest of the three, much to my own surprise. It also doesn’t feel like the shortest, but maybe that’s just me.
- What’s my secret? Set a firm date and then fall way behind schedule and drive yourself crazy trying to finish on time.
- Both alpha and beta reader pools were a little bit larger than they have been in the past, and I can’t say enough how much their feedback helped.
- A new personal record! I have a bad habit of reusing a single name for a half-dozen characters and only realizing it after I’m done.
- Uhm… yeah. It’s probably best not to ask.
- This stat was suggested by a friend on Twitter
- The streak continues! Incidentally, one of my physical therapists is from Bakersfield and she had some bones to pick with me about Damian’s attitude towards her city. Whoops!
- Another Twitter suggestion!
- Hence the ever-present warning about expletives!