Well, here's the final tally for the first draft of my novella, Dayhunter. I started on July 4th and finished on the 21st. That's 17 days. Word count for the draft is 27,151, giving me a little breathing room under the 30k cap. I anticipate that I'll use most of that up on the second run through. I wrote Dayhunter as tight and spare as I knew how. I made sure that every chapter, every scene, every line was "on the clock".
The MS is with my alpha readers now. I'm going to get their feedback and let the story rest for a few days. For me, I think it turned out great. They're never quite as good as you hope when you come back, though, so I'm prepared for a rigorous edit when I come back to it. I'll probably start the editing on the 24th. I've got the day off for the local "Pioneer Days" holiday.
This has been a great experience for me thus far. It was a challenge that sometimes caused me to seek out the antacids, but the rush was worth all the missed sleep and all the stress. It's been a while since I tackled a big project like this. That is one thing that you tend to get on a novella or novel--that rush, that flow where you're thinking about it all the time, living in the story.
I hope that I'll have great news about this one, folks. If the publisher is looking for the sort of story I wrote, I think it'll succeed. If not, I think there's a market out there somewhere that'll take it.
Hope everyone's doing well out there. I'll be back with more news as soon as I move on to the editing process. For now, though, I'm going to lay around for the rest of the day and feel good about myself.