Category Archives: writing stats

Action Scenes. Hard.

My first drafts of action chapters are about 500-1000 words. This is pitiful, and caused my outline spreadsheet to say my novel would come in short. So I sighed, and turned sentences into paragraphs. It’s now about 2000 words, which is still too short, but at least my outline spreadsheet doesn’t say my novel is going to come in short any more.
Which is good, because my stuff always gets longer in revision. So my goal is my minimum wordcount. People tell me that’s not right, because it’s easier to cut than add, but it’s more in line with the way I work, so there you go.
Current wordcount: 29387. Guesstimated final wordcount: 80288 (still a little stunted by action miniscenes). Percent complete: 36 and change.

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Lizardfic stats

Current wordcount: 25,792
Goal wordcount: 80,000
Guesstimated final wordcount: 81,203
Percent of goal done: 32.24%
Percent of guesstimate done: 31.76%
At this rate, I’ll reach my goal on: 5/12/08
At this rate, I’ll finish my first draft on: 5/14/08

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Lizardfic stats

Current wordcount: 19,833.
Goal: 80,000.
Average daily wordcount: 566.
Average scene length in words: 2260.
Guesstimated final wordcount: 85,880.
Percent of goal completed: 24.79%.
Percent of guesstimated final wordcount done: 23.09%
At this rate, I’ll reach my goal on 5/9/08 and finish on 5/19/08.
All wordcounts produced with the unix “wc” command.
And yes, I did update my outline spreadsheet. I want to know when it thinks I’m going to be finished.
I have to say, though, that I changed all my characters’ names from “their lizard names” to English names. Changing this in my working text files was a few awk commands. Changing this in the spreadsheet? Obnoxiously time-consuming. Ah well.

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Lizardfic stats

Lizardfic the novel is currently 15,635 words. According to my spreadsheet metrics, I’m 19.54% of the way towards an 80,000 word goal, and will reach 80,000 words on May 5, but the novel itself is guesstimated to end up being 89,646 words, which would make me 17.44% done. My rather wimpy daily wordcount goal is 500 words, but I average 579.07 words. If I pick up the pace I could certainly finish sooner, but I’m more interested in it being good than fast.
How do I know these things? I actually have two metric spreadsheets.
One is of my own invention, and I call it the motivational spreadsheet of doom. All the motivational spreadsheet of doom does is takes the daily wordcount and date and coughs up new words, words over goal, days since last written, words under goal, and percent goal completed, with a bit of average wordcount and a finished on date.
The other is Cameron’s Outline Helper, which I tweaked to give me more data. (The guesstimated final wordcount is average complete scene length times number of scenes, for example.) For some reason, I found plain text easier to work with in the earlier outline stages, but by the time you list the scenes you expect to have and get to the next page, that’s some tasty spreadsheeting.
I could combine them, but the motivational spreadsheet of doom is dumb enough to open in any spreadsheet program, while Cameron’s Outline Helper only seems to love Excel and Open Office. I may, anyway, to get a better finished on date.
Metrics motivate me. *shrug*

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Year in Review

I really did get stuff done, writing-wise, but not so you can see it.

  • Sales: 0
  • Finished stories: Only 1, but it’s really good (IMHO).
  • Rejections: 23 (Go, me!)
  • Time spent on revisions: Insane. I did NaNoEdMo on my NaNovel and also had a broken short that I beat with a stick.
  • Things lying around guilting me: my Script Frenzy script, which fell prey to the work project from hell.

Um, seriously? I worked way, way too much this year. It ate into my writing time.
I also wrote a bunch of self-indulgent things that I won’t show you. 🙂
On the up side, Lizardfic is going well–I’m 8,500 words in, right in the middle of chapter three, and it’s getting juicy. Basically, I’ve finally learned how to outline. That’s worth something. The writing is going slowly, but it’s worth it to not have a filthy draft like the NaNovel. I also wanted to give myself time to work on short stories, too, if the urge arose, but that’s not happening so I may try to write extra.
And I joined a writer’s group, which is made of win. And had my first reading, at Wiscon! That was awesome.
So, in short, a bunch of stuff that may pay off later. We’ll see.

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March Stats

Story sales in March: 0
Story submissions in March: 1
Story rejections in March: 1
Script queries in March: 2
Script requests in March: 0
Script query rejections in March: 1
Script queries with no response written off in March: 11
Script contest entries in March: 0
Total story sales to date: 3
Total story rejections to date: 80
Current stories in circulation: 4
Current number of scripts in contests: 3
Current number of script queries out: 2 (I’m a slacker!)
First novel status: Revised extensively in March (NaNoEdMo), on hiatus. I need a break. I do think it’s improved, though.

I got a bunch of critiques for the hurricane story, but am expecting more next weekend (yay!), so I’m going to wait and revise after I get those.

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February Stats

Jen does this every month. I figured it’d be fun.
Story sales in February: 0
Story submissions in February: 7
Story rejections in February: 6
Script queries in February: 11
Script requests in February: 0
Script rejections in February: 0
Script contest entries in February: 3
Total story sales to date: 3
Total story rejections to date: 79
Total stories in circulation: 4
First novel status: In revision
Speaking of NaNoEdMo, well, it’s not the worst novel ever written, but it sure isn’t the best. Heh. I’ll see what I can do about it.

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Year in Review

Short stories completed: 1
Scripts completed: 1
Novel first drafts completed: 1
Short stories that somehow morphed into novels-in-progess: 2
Short stories that were pulled from circulation and completely rewritten: 1
Short story submissions: 32
Short story rejections: 28
Short story sales: 1
Short stories in circulation: 3
Lo, I am dissatisfied.

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