So I've been working pretty hard, trying to get that next bit and that next bit out! "Youth" is coming along very nicely, it's a very clean story. There isn't a lot to bog me down - the story doesn't take weird turns, it's this, then this, then that! As a result, the length has doubled in the past few days, pushing past 7k already.
I'm still amazed at the power this story has over me. It's not just how I get so immersed in that world, it's how I see things and my heart is wringing just to try and describe them. This story feels very real to me, more like I witnessed it happening then made it up off the top of my head.
I originally pictured it as a short about 10k, but Andy said, "You shouldn't waste this on a short - you should make a novel out of this." I can't guarantee a length, in my opinion, a story is told when it's finished. Whether that be a 2k slice of life, or a 574k doorstop (coughAtlasShruggedcough), a story is a story when it's finished.
"Youth" isn't finished yet, and there are a number of checkpoints it has to pass before it's "told". With that in mind, I've bumped the length-o-meter up to 20k, to give me some more progress/breathing room.
And for all those waiting for it: