Here I thought I'd written three books in 4 months.
Now that I'm finished typing up book one of the fantasy trilogy, I've been working on book two. I already knew it was longer than the first book. As I typed, I looked for things I could cut.
Instead, I found myself adding to the story. When I write my first drafts, I'm often in a hurry just to get the story down before I forget, so my second drafts involve expanding and clarifying. This one is no exception. I realized, as I reached the 2/3rds point of what I'd written of book two, I could easily split them without losing anything. In fact, it gives me room to explore some of the aspects of the world I glossed over to wrap up the book. There were several distinct points where I made the decision to leave a plot seed alone because it would've made the book that much longer.
And so, the fantasy trilogy is now a tetralogy. Or a quartet. I like quartet better. People actually know what that means.
It takes a lot longer to write new material than it does to type up a draft that's already written. My progress has slowed to a crawl. My hands are grateful for the respite, but I'm impatient to get back to typing up what's in my little notebooks. There's a weird kind of thrill in pulling apart what I wrote to form it into something better. I'm rarely in a better mood than when I solve a plot puzzle I've written myself into.
Meanwhile, my crit partner is going through book two of the urban fantasy trilogy, and she has a lot of good feedback. I should be working on editing, but I just like the dragon books more.
In my little snatches of between-time, I'm writing book three of the urban fantasy trilogy. It has the opposite of the above problem. I feel like I've run out of plot, and it's only just past the halfway point. I have a few ideas, but I won't know until I write them if they feel like padding. It's not like I'm writing very fast. I have time to figure out how to fill those pages.