1) I realised that chapter 15 was in fact chapter 14! Long story short, the first two chapters were extra-long with exposition so had to be split into five shorter chapters. This took them out of sync with the outline. Then, as the story developed some of the later chapters ended in the middle of the following chapter according to the outline. So, I misremembered my numbering. No big deal, right?
So because of this I decided to corral the final chapters into one document and do a word count. Then,
2) My word count revealed I was at almost 43,000 words! Now, I'm terrible with remembering numbers and the word count for a novel can be arbitrary. But, in my head I remembered that the average novel was 200k words! Panic (and probably too much coffee) set in.
I was almost certain I was on the track to exiting 'novella' territory. It's a young adult novel, so I don't want it to be J.K. Rowling/harrypotter-book-seven-long. But, I was hoping for something a bit more than Neil Gaiman/Odd and the Frost Giants-short.
I could have sworn that I'd worked out that if each chapter was around seven pages of A4 at roughly 11 pt type that I would have hit the mark. My shortest chapter is six pages and longest at eleven.
GOOD NEWS folks!!
Well, a bit of Google looking later, I realised I misremembered the figures. It is in fact (roughly) 50k words for 200 pages (printed)- which is where my memory of the 200 figure came from. So, the tale of the Mighty Orange-Peel has been given a respectable amount of space so far.
Time to crack on with the last three chapters. I'm actually really really excited. In a lot of ways, I'm finding out how it will all go down just like everyone else. The details of the story keep shifting as I write because the characters are growing and changing with the story.
Oh, here's a first crack at a cover for the book. What do y'all think?