Out of interest:
Retribution Falls: 133,423
The Black Lung Captain: 158,801
The Iron Jackal: 174,904
The Ace Of Skulls (rough draft): 183,609
See the trend there? I’m sure there must be some equation for this. I’m a zesty campaigner versus bloat in F/SF books, and I’m very aware in my own books that any scene in it needs to justify its inclusion. Yet even keeping it as trimmed as I possibly can, plotlines multiply, characters grow and demand more page time, payoffs need to be paid off… more and more needs to be fitted in. And there was a hell of a lot to be fitted in to this last book. You’ll see
I actually thought AOS was shorter than Iron Jackal till I totted it up. No wonder it took me so bloody long!
Anyways, I’m embarking on the edit proper tomorrow. Am actually quite excited to get out the editorial axe, even though I don’t usually have to swing it much these days, what with my hyper ruthless plotting techniques. Probably it will still end up the longest of the four, but that’s only natural. Each of the three previous books set up many things for the biggie at the end. So, er, here’s hoping you all like the finale! No pressure :-/