Ghost Book: Brief History and Statistics

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my book. Several people have already finished reading the story–and have even said some nice things about it! It makes me very happy to hear that my effort was worth it for some of you.

I wish to try having a blog post here every now and then, and thought I’d start with sharing a few quick facts about I’m (Sort of) an Expert on Ghosts. The general idea for it came to me in winter 2013. I had long wanted to write a story that dealt with ghosts, so I eventually settled on the concept of a young exorcist-in-training who is assigned to deal with a ghost girl who loved him. Brainstorming sessions led me to making the characters a bit older (mid-twenties), and to make the protagonist (Tsunoda Naoki) actually only pretending to be an onmyoji. Both decisions were largely tied to the themes I decided to work with…

The first draft began in spring 2013, and didn’t finish until the end of that year. After setting the story aside for a few months (giving some of my writing group friends time to read and critique my work), I went back to revise it in spring 2014. There were many scenes and secondary characters I removed from the story, and a number of plot elements that I decided were important to change. The overall plot structure was reworked to make the book shorter and (in my opinion at least) much more streamlined.

This process required several read-throughs (or “passes”), and after setting the story aside again for a time I gave the book a thorough editing in fall 2014. Chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, and word by word. Once that was done, I decided to proofread the book, and then went through the process of formatting it for online release (“officially” on October 30th). The story is now available as an ebook, a .pdf, or as text on various websites.

A good chunk of the project, of course, was devoted to coordinating efforts with hachikuro–the illustrator for this novel. I will save details of this for another post, but suffice to say there was a lot of thought put into each of these drawings. I think it was worth taking the time to have them though, as they add a great deal to the “light novel” experience.

Word cloud for "I'm (Sort of) an Expert on Ghosts" -- wordle.net

Word cloud for “I’m (Sort of) an Expert on Ghosts” — wordle.net

Here are a few generic statistics for the novel:

  • Number of pages (in word processor): 251
  • Number of illustrations (including the cover): 10
  • Number of paragraphs: 2,498
  • Number of words: 84,464
  • Number of files on my laptop directly related to this project: 366
  • Number of ghosts in the story: (SPOILERS)
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