The first big step to publishing my novel is done: I’ve finished the manuscript.

On Tuesday night, I finally finished the manuscript for my dystopian sci-fi crime novel Grim Deep. After more than five years of work, several NaNoWriMo attempts, one win and a grant from the German government, I am now done with a first version of the book. It feels very, very good.

Now, the real work begins. First, I have to type up the 108 pages I wrote by hand over the last month. And then I have to edit the manuscript as a whole for the first time. The novel, as it stands, has 23 chapters. I have 73,103 words in Scrivener right now. Plus the about 37,800 words I am estimating for the handwritten portion, that means the novel is roughly 111,000 words long. If that estimation is correct – we will see after I’ve typed it up – it’s probably a bit on the long side. It would be longer than Ender’s Game. Well, at least it’s easier to cut things in editing than to write new stuff.

I think it’s safe to say that the Grim February project was a success. And I’m pretty happy I managed to finish the novel in the time allotted by my government grant. As I’ve said, there’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m very proud that I got this far.

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