Home > The Kingdom of Four Rivers > The Kingdom of Four Rivers – finished at last

The Kingdom of Four Rivers – finished at last

Today is a happy day for me, as I finally sent my novel, “The Kingdom of Four Rivers,” off to the TAG Hungerford Award. The deadline isn’t until the end of June but I thought it prudent to get it finished now, so that I might turn my attention back to my actual day job, teaching! To give you some idea of how much time I spent on this, here are some fun facts:

1. The Kingdom of Four Rivers is actually my eighth novel length manuscript, but the first I’ve been satisfied with.

2. I wrote my first novel at the age of sixteen, which is more than 10 years ago.

3. I’ve written something like a million words of prose since the age of fourteen.

4. I started working on “Four Rivers” in December ’06. The first draft was written over the course of two school summer holidays, and revision was done from Jan-April 2008.

5. It took around 100 hours to actually write the first draft, which was 97,000 words. That’s about 1000 words an hour, which is quite slow. I used to write much faster, but not as well.

6. In addition to the 100 hours of writing, I estimate that I spent something like 150 hours on thinking, planning, printing, reading and generally tinkering with the novel.

7. Add that to around 60 hours of revision and you have 300 hours of HARD work. I went through four drafts of the ms., each of which took about 20 hours each.

8. One of these drafts involved reading the entire novel aloud to check for typos and general flow of writing. This was an enormous help.

9. Now I need a holiday.

So the final ms. is 86,000 words, which I believe to be a good length. My wife Georgie drew a map for me. She and my mother are the only people to have read the book, as yet. Hopefully they won’t be the last…

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