Conventional wisdom is that authors must pare down their works. I tried, but all four books of The Dragon Lord Chronicles grew slowly. Sure, I'd cut some out, but there was always more to add as I filled in the gaps. Final editing did not change the word counts substantially. In one case, the final word count grew despite my pulling out three entire chapters! Thankfully, fantasy is fairly forgiving that way. (Examples: Tolkien, Rowling, Paolini, and Martin)
Here are the page and word counts for the actual stories. There are approximately 20 more pages in each book, including various front and back matter.
Book Pages Word Counts One 320 88,400 Two 339 88,900 Three 346 94,200 Four 389 101,900
Interestingly, the first two books had essentially the same number of words, but one was 19 pages longer. I believe that's primarily due to varying chapter length. Book four was the biggest surprise; early on I feared it would be so long I would have to split it into two books, but it is only slightly longer than the others.
As some of you know, this all started as a dream of which I could recall only the beginning and the end. What I remembered became (almost verbatim) the prologue (Am I Cursed?) and first chapter (Comings and Goings) of Book One, and in somewhat modified form chapters 41 (Dinner Party) and 42 (Those Eyes) of the last few chapters of Book Four, plus a very modified chapter 40 (Homecoming) of that book. That's five chapters out of 157, only three percent of the series. If I'd known what I was getting myself into, I'd probably never have started!
Perhaps twenty of my friends and family made it into the series in some form or fashion. There are at least a couple of dozen modern cultural references cleverly (or not) hidden (or not) throughout the books. There will be a contest around those before long. The wise reader will reread the series looking for these Easter eggs and making notes. You heard it here first! (I'm taking suggestions for really good prizes. Feel free to do that here or via email/private message.)
NOTE: The book in the photo came that way from the printer. No books were harmed in the making of this blog.
Photo credit: Sharon O'Neal Copyright 2019 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, TX. All rights reserved.