I’m in the process of my first read-through and first editing pass of A Murder of Crows, which I don’t think I’ve talked about much here if at all, and which is a dark fantasy novel that I began at the beginning of October and finished at the end of that same month. My instincts were correct: I underwrote. A lot. My goal is to get this from 65k words to 80k or more, and as of right now I think that’s eminently doable, given that there are many scenes that need fleshing out and other scenes that need adding.
Here’s the thing about novels: every single one is a different writing experience. Line and Orbit was this massive, sprawling, slightly fragmented thing, at least partly because it was coming from two imaginations instead of one, both working in excellent sync but both with a novel’s worth of Novel Stuff to go into the project as a whole. The result was a book that was in excess of 145k words long – two entire book-amounts of novel. So the task there was whittling it down to a manageable, publishable size, and that task was a mammoth one. It took about two years.
That book was also only roughly planned beforehand. It grew organically as we wrote. That was another reason for the length.