I am not sure whether I should feel a sense of exuberance of finally reaching the goal of my Plotland adventure or deal with the exhaustion I feel after slogging through so many, many words. Even though the final version is modest in comparison to many novels (and meagre when compared to most epic fantasy tomes) it nevertheless feels like I've been transporting an enormous weight.
I estimate that I wrote at least four times as many words as made it into the (hopefully) final draft. Many of these words were scenes later cut as unnecessary, or passages poorly written or plotted, but the majority of lost words were the result of changes wrought by rewriting, rephrasing, and otherwise manipulating the text until it satisfied my standards for what the finished story should look like. Maintaining a certain style was an element as well, but mostly it was just endlessly dogged rewriting.
I am certain that my short story habits forced me to pay more attention to the impact of each sentence, each phrase, and each turn of the plot. I am never one to apply needless descriptive ormolu to my passages, instead wishing only to provide the exposition as clearly as possible so that the reader's imagination can paint the picture they wish. As a result, the completed novel looks pretty tight.
Anyhow, the writing portion of the journey is now complete, at least for the moment. Now I must change gears, put on my mendicant's garb, and beg the attention of those who determine what gets into print.
I fear this next part of the journey will be the most difficult.