51k words hammered out on the first draft which I've gone back to over the course of this past year and edited as I went. I typically try not to edit while I write, but at points where I was stuck on the tension or motivations, I found it helpful to refine parts and dig back into the language. After 16 months of writing, this thing is nearly done -- or pretty close. There's been some really rewarding parts of this process, but the most fascinating to me was creating a "villain" out of circumstance. Much like Khalil, who you empathize with in Falcons on the Floor, this villain isn't evil; he's simply been forced into an unmanageable situation. The level of abuse he will inflict and they way he justifies it, is the most compelling component of the story. Or at least one of the components.
Equally, the hero, Nisreen (Salim Abid's mother) justifies her methods as well. I'm not sure which is "worse."