Book report, week 4: morale and manipulation

As expected, I’ve reached the uphill struggle point in the process. The more I wade through, the longer the list of things that need fixing and researching. Paradoxically, the closer I get to the end, the further away I feel from finishing the book. I know it’s a matter of perseverence, but it really does feel like pushing a boulder up a hill.

Actual shot of me wrestling my WIP

It’s also hard to keep the faith. Will anyone want to read it? Is there enough of a story to carry a reader through? One of my protagonists is a bit of a pain – is that a good or bad thing? Not every character has to be likeable, right? Right?

Having said that, I have hit a tiny milestone and the manuscript has tipped over the 80,000 word mark. This was a particular goal for me as the guidelines I’ve read for novel length indicate that commercial fiction (which this is) should be in the range of 90,000-120,000 words, so I’m getting close. Of course there’s a lot of rewriting to be done, and hacking away of surplus material, but I feel like I’m approaching the home stretch of the first draft, despite the above despair.

Incidentally, I have mentioned it on this blog before but it bears repeating that there is a good guide here by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin about general required lengths for manuscripts, depending on genre. It’s well worth a read to see if you’re in the right ballpark for your own book.


I have a stack of films lined up, but am struggling to find the time to watch them. I did manage to watch Gaslight, which I haven’t seen before and was curious about. Gaslighting has become such a commonly used term for manipulative behaviour, and gets its name from a rather Gothic period piece released in 1944, starring a very youthful Ingrid Bergman (and an even more youthful Angela Lansbury as an uppity maid!). Though Charles Boyer is a bit hammy for my taste as the controlling husband, it is very atmospheric and has a section about a cabinet full of mementos that may be useful for my tale.

Weekly stats

The book is now 80,071 words, 275 pages. I’ve worked my way through almost 200 pages, and have a better feel for the overall shape of it. Too much of the good stuff happens in the second half so I will have to reorder things later. I have many, many things to fix on round two.

Want to read more? Week 5 is here.

Or have you missed week 3? You can read it here. Alternatively, you can start from week 1 here

Photo: Skeeze/Pixabay


4 thoughts on “Book report, week 4: morale and manipulation

  1. Anne, I can’t wait to read this book. The premise is so unique. And bravo to you for sharing these reports; I, as I mentioned earlier, seem to have jinxed myself by even publicly stating “Draft 2 in Feb”! LOL

    RE ‘actual shot of you and your WIP–your WIP has some definite muscle! 🙂


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