I find myself in total shock upon reflecting on how brief 120K words really is. I always thought that was just a dramatic over-obsessed comment authors liked to spill to sound prolific, but it really is true. I am flabbergasted by the number of scenes, character arcs, backstory, and interactions that just won’t be showing up in this WIP because I’ve run out of words. This includes the extensive backstory of some 100 years before the events of the book, as well as relationships and defining context for various characters. Furthermore, even the story I am telling feels rushed and brief. For example, when Nick first travels with the Defiants, I expected some weeks to pass. During this time a great deal of self reflection occurs, and the characters get to know one another. I wanted to immerse the reader in this passage of time, make them feel it with the characters, the isolation and the self-reflection. I wanted them to have time to form the same relationships I describe in the characters, rather than simply being told it has happened. Yet, on the page, this gets under 2K words. WTF??
I would find it very depressing, but two things are keeping me from fixating on it. First, I can always post deleted scenes and backstory on my website, in the unlikely event that anyone is engaged enough to take interest. Second, I already know my next work will be much more of an epic, giving me the freedom to explore the fine details in much more depth. For now I just have to suck it up and go through the process, learning what I can along the road.