Ah. Well, I keep score to some degree while first-drafting. Once the book is loping along, it's supposed to give me 2000 words/day, five days a week, or I get out the blacksnake whip and make it pop. However, it doesn't start with any particular length limit (this is how I ended up 50,000 words ahead on book two, having plowed past the ending...) I know, roughly, that the military SF/space operas (whichever you consider them) need to be in the range of 120,000-130,000 to feel right. At 110-120, they're thin in places. I know that the Paksworld fantasies are much bigger. They were from the beginning.
When the first of this group came in at the low 180s, I was gently asked if perhaps we could get it down some. I expected that the recession would've put in tighter limits, and was ready for it. But getting that first book under 170 came down in the end to peeling out individual words. With that in mind (and even anticipating it by the time I was working on #2
), I put a mental corset on this one, and was delighted when, on the trip east, it kept showing up right about 170 or a little less.
My concern now is that there may be thin places in it--places that lack the depth of the rest. But someone else will have to see that, because I'm at the point where I can't.