After my printing debacle the other day, I ordered a new toner cartridge and bought several reams of paper. I just finished printing my novel with the new toner and new paper. It is 264 pages long, single-spaced, double-sided, on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and occupies 132 individual sheets of paper. The stack of papers is about 5/8″ thick. If it were published as a paperback, each printed page of the book would have about 400 words. With a total of 149,000 words, the book would have 373 pages. That would be a suitable length for a novel.
I can’t get ahead of myself, however. I still have to work through the 264 pages and do the final editing. While I’m doing that, I’ll look around for a literary agent. There are quite a few out there, all hoping they’ll be contacted by the next great American novelist-in-the-making. They would like someone young, say 19 or 20, who’ll crank out dozens of best sellers over the next 30 years or so. That kind of writer is a veritable gold mine for publishers and agents. I’m not a gold mine. At my current rate of production (1 novel in 15 years), I am more like a well-worked creek in California at the tail end of the gold rush. You might find a fleck or two of gold if you work real hard and don’t mind spending many hours hunched over the creek bank.
I just took an actual measurement of the depth of the stack of papers composing my novel. It’s actually just a bit less than a half inch. That’s kind of disappointing. Considering all the time I’ve spent on this thing over the years, and all the scenes and characters and events within the story, it seems as if two inches would be a more representative thickness. Ah well, I’m not going to pad it with extra words just to get more pages. I’m sure I can probably pare it down quite a bit as it is, and I’m sure I will when I work my through it one last time. There must be lots of removable inanities.
I’m already thinking about other writing projects. I have a couple of other novels started that need finishing.
That shouldn’t take more than twenty or thirty years.