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Friday, February 29, 2008

February Wrap Up

Well now, February has come to a close, a longer one than most to boot. I will report on the TV experiment at the end of the week, but for now I just want to cover February.

I can say, with certainty, that the Martini Method works for me. Though I don't enjoy a beverage such as Tony did, I find plenty of reason to relax and feel the sense of accomplishment just from the writing. Why, in the month of February alone I added 23,699 words to my novel, and achieved the staggering result of 33,784 for the entire month. I think I enjoy leaving my weekends open to jot down other ideas. This keeps the creative fires nicely stoked and gives me an outlet for all of the ideas that continue to come at me. Why just this morning I had an interesting idea I'm still toying with right now. Which I'll probably make a note about it after this post.

Back to the original idea, I am proceeding nicely with my work. The total, which is displayed ever so conveniently above the daily word count, reflects that is a very healthy length, which is fortunate for me as I feel the story winding down to its close. I believe very soon I can begin the arduous editing and the even more frightening search for an agent for the publishing of the work. Fortunately I'll be able to tap into some friends and get their opinions as well, along with editing suggestions. There's nothing quite like exploiting your friends to give you that warm tingly feeling . . . at least until they return their criticism. But I jest. My spirits are good at having come so far, and I feel that with some good editing and polishing, I should be able to see this book into print, and its sequels after that.

Well, enough prattling. Here is the chart for February, in all its glory.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Word is a Word?

As I am nearing completion of my first novel, the realities of the publishing process have started to weigh upon me. to that end, I have done a little digging around the old interweb for more information. One tidbit in particular stood out to me as I poked around: word counts. The publishing industry dictates what a manuscript format is (this I already knew), but along with that comes the peculiar idea of word counts. Now, from NaNoWriMo I knew that different word processors count words in different ways. My favorite WordPerfect is far stingier than most (you Word users take note that you're probably getting away with free extra words), so I felt good knowing that my word counts would never be less than what my word processor reported to me. However, the publishing industry evaluates things differently than by how many actual words are on the page. They want to know how much physical space the work will take up, so their definition of a word count is vastly different from that of any word processor. I discovered two great pages that explain different methods to arrive at the word count publishers are more interested here and here. Using these methodologies, my WordPerfect reported count (as of this day) of 83,264 became 93,700 (rounded to the nearest hundred) a difference of over 10,000 words! I'm rather excited by this little piece of information as it makes me feel as if I've written that much more to my novel, and that I'm clearly not just barely making my book fit the minimum requirements of a novel. It also tells me I can edit freely (by chopping out a good bit) without fear of knocking myself under the word limit. This will let me make for a much tighter story. Stay tuned as I reveal more interesting tidbits regarding my publishing discoveries as well as my editing woes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Well now, it has been quite some time since I've made an entry here, and I'm just getting this in before the February wrap up. I have been, and continue to, write every single day. I've been doing so ever since mid January when I discovered a little tidbit about the "Martini Method" adopted by Anthony Burgess of A Clockwork Orange fame. The idea is simple, write one thousand words per day, and then reward yourself. Since I came across that, I have been doing just that, writing no less than one thousand words per day, and sometimes exceeding it. I've also taken the liberty to modify it somewhat to fit my own best needs. During the week I write the story that I began with NaNoWriMo, but the weekends I leave to myself to free write some other things that are in the back of my mind. Thus far the results have been nothing short of miraculous. I am writing more now than I ever have in my life, and it feels wonderful. So to anyone struggling with writing, I suggest the Martini Method.

Now I'm also attempting something new this week. For some time I've been thinking I watch too much TV, movies, DVDs, what have you. Mostly this has come as a revelation that I haven't been reading as many books as I used to. So I'm going to try the radical approach and not watch anything for an entire week. Starting today and ending on March 2nd, I will be free from the infernal box. Nor will I cheat by using my computer to watch anything streaming or even an entertaining youtube clip. It's cold turkey for me, and I hope that the lack of mediocre stimulation will force me to search out better things, or even create better. So let the grand experiment begin, and I'll report, hopefully, periodically or by week's end at the latest.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

January Wrap up

Well now, February is upon us. I have to say that my writing has not been going as good as I would like, at least not until the midpoint of January, whereupon I had a sort of revelation and inspiration to follow. From that time on I've been writing steadily. Hopefully I will continue on this path until it becomes a fully established habit.

Like December, which was only one post ago---yes, I need to post here more often as well, even tiny tidbits---I shall post up the final graph to show my writing progress for the month of January. Until next post, excelsior!

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