I finished with Exile Draft 3 way late last night (and have been suffering because of it all day long at work haha). At this time I am not going to post this draft on my site as the addition of new content has created several very large problems and made a mess of quite a few things. I will, however, be starting on draft 4 next week and I'll be posting chapters of it as I complete them. This draft should go quickly, as all I really need to do is smoothe everything over so that the new parts added to draft 3 fit in better, change a few little things here and there, and clean up the language a bit so it's easier to read.
This draft ended up at 285,951 words, which is about the length of one of the more hefty Wheel of Time books. I expect that it will reach 300k in draft four. I find this funny, because this project was originally intended to be a smaller book. I wrote the first draft out of frustration for being turned down by agents because Beyond the Lost Horizon was too long. Ufortunately it seems that when I set out to write a uch shorter story, it turns out to be crap, needing extensive rewrites and complete overhauls that add considerably to the word count. I've come to the realization that lately it seems I'm completely unable to write short stories anymore, they always seem like they're missing something, so I keep adding to them and adding to them until they're much larger than they were originally intended. I just can't help myself.
With Exile all of the added content does make for a much better story, and I do plan to condence it, chopping away at least 100k words if not more. The manuscript that I have now is almost 3 times the length of the first draft, and it is almost unrecognizable as the same story. All of the things that I left out in writing the first draft to make it shorter have really filled in the world, and made the characters far more realistic than they were. I can't wait to put up a final draft of it, because I'm really kind of proud of the work that I've done with this story. I was on the verge of abandoning it as unfixable, but it's really come together into what I think is a very good and entertaining story, and my agent agrees. He tells me that my talent is improving, and that Exile even incomplete as it is, is still better written than anything else I've given him so far, and that he thinks when Exile is finished he might have an easier time of selling it for me than he has with Beyond the Lost Horizon. If Exile sells, he's pretty sure he can tack BTLH onto the contract as well.
Ever since I was little I always wanted to write a book and have it published. I used to sit at my dad's type writer, hitting one key at a time with a single finger to write out stupid little kiddie stories that really had no structure and made no sense. It's been an almost lifelong dream of mine. The fact that I'm so close to reaching that dream, but at the sae time so far away has been very, very frustrating. I hope that publishers like Exile more than they've liked Beyond the Lost Horizon so far, I've put a whole lot of work into making it worthy of being published, if not I'll have to pin my hopes on Spires of Infinity, which is probably the most original thing I've ever written to date, but still needs a lot of work to finish.
Anyway, yeah, done with draft 3, startig draft 4 next week, and I will be posting chapters of that as I finish, because I think that the fourth draft will be different enough from the second draft to warrant it.