Whew.  It’s been a long haul but the first draft of the “Fires of Alexandria” is done.  Well, technically it’s the second draft, because I start each writing session by rereading the last and fixing it before moving on to the new.  It helps clean the manuscript as I go, find plot errors I missed in the thrall of writing and gets me in the right frame of mind for the next chapter.

The novel stands at 86,000 words but that will come down some as I cut out the chaff.  As an excel nerd, I keep track of my stats during each project.  Looking back I learn that:

* The novel took 93 days to write.

* I wrote on 70 of those days.

* Total time of writing was around 145 hours since I write at a pace of 600 words / hour on average.

* Total time on the project is much greater, probably 300-400 hours given the research, plotting, and general thinking time.

* I read about 1000 pages of research for the novel.  While it’s an alternate history novel, the history of the people and the area serves as a starting point for the events.  Unlike a straight historical novel which uses fiction to tell the tale of history.  In my version, history twists on a few different choices of its inhabitants.  Choices that I believe were viable back then, though unlikely due to certain viewpoints of the age.

* Getting the novel ready for publication will probably take another 60 hours, which includes rereading for plot and characterization errors, fixing grammar and spelling, getting to my First Readers, and then fixing anything they uncover.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful copy-editor otherwise I’d tack another 60 hours onto that total.  Formatting on InDesign and working out the cover with my designer will take a little extra beyond that, but that’s the easy part.

* The idea for this novel actually occurred to me back in 2009, but it’s taken me this long to work out the details and do the research.  Plus, I had other projects demanding my attention.

* This will be my first non-augmented reality related novel to be published.  Though I’ve written three-and-a-half other non-AR novels, none of them will see the light of day as they lurk in the bottom of my “trunk files.”

Lastly, I am sad to say that I will be saying goodbye to Porcupine Tree’s The Sky Moves Sideways for quite some time.  My tradition is to listen to a particular album or artist for the length of a project, to keep my mind in the same “mood” the whole time.  Once I’m done, I find it hard to listen to that album again.

But as a last goodbye, I’ll post this video of a sample of the music from the album.  The music isn’t particularly “Alexandrian” but I gravitated to it for this project anyway.  Enjoy.



Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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