Just finished the first draft of Alex. As I told my wife, I started crying when I wrote the last sentence, so either I'm doing something right, or I'm just way too invested in the story to separate the actual quality of the work from the story in my head.
Either way, the first draft is done. It feels really good. The first draft of my second book took 10 months. The final word count was 66,840 - a little short for a typical suspense novel, but perfectly acceptable in Kindle world. Besides, there is a good chance the word count will go up during revision. One of the things I want my beta readers to give me feedback on is which plot threads they found most compelling (and could thus, hopefully, use some expansion) and which need to be trimmed or culled entirely.
In case you're wondering (and I know some of you are), 66,840 words is 156 pages in single-spaced 12-point Word font, or probably roughly 300 manuscript pages.
Wow. I'm just sort of stunned. I've now written two books.