71,500 words, and "The Crown of Pluto" is officially done in draft! Granted, the story ran a good 25,000 words longer than I meant for it to go, and as a result, I suspect that I've got quite a bit of re-writing in my future, but...
In the course of 9+ years of commuting by train, I've now written TWO complete, full-length novels, four graphic novels, a half-dozen or so unconnected short stories, and about a million blog posts. At the end of the day, this is best argument I have in favor of public transportation.
Who's looking for something to read?
Heh. Just kidding.
I've gotta let the thing sit for a month, rest a little, and then give it at least one re-write. And then I've gotta go back through the other stories in the book, add back in all the thematic things I developed writing "Pluto", and basically clean it at all up, but none if that matters right now.
Hooray! My story is told!
EDIT: Now that I've got it all cut together, the complete first draft came out to 190 pages, 72,142 words.
I got very close to spinning this thing out into its own self-contained novel, but right now, I'm inordinately pleased with the way the ending came out. It took me some time, but I think I played off all the angles set up in the other stories, and I feel good about where we've left everyone.
Guess we'll see if that's true once the test-readers get a shot at it.