January 21st, 2007


Fallen Rewrite - Week 2

Two weeks down for Novel In 90. While I didn't get as many words knocked out this week as last, which was a little bit more than 13k, I still recorded made it through a respectable 8,000 words to finish the second chapter and start work on a new third chapter.

So call it 85 pages, 21,500 words. Lots of nice foreshadowing is taking place in this third chapter. So the next chapter, written from the main character's viewpoint, displays currents I knew were there, but which the earlier draft failed to show as well as was possible. Once I finish this new chapter, it sets the table for the next two and might take me as far as the end of part one. :-)

Again, I can't really estimate how long the book will go. Part three is going to cut off where I originally wanted to end it and the material I've got so far will see expansion (call it a chase, if you want) in a fourth part that will be as long as necessary to finish the story. Perhaps a fifth part? I'll tackle that when I get near the end of the current draft. So I'll keep the total as 150,000 words.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
21,500 / 150,000

I was discussing word counts vs. page counts over in a Novel In 90 thread recently. I use a standard manuscript format so I don't have to change the document prior to submission. So I average 250 words per page. Key word there being average, because when you're talking publishing word counts you're talking about space--not words. Shakespeare was wrong on this point, at least as far as modern publishing, and a page by any other name doesn't total 250 words.

Word Count Formula
Count the letters on a line in your manuscript. Sample several lines to get an average number. Divide that number by 6 and then multiply the result by the number of lines on the page. Multiply that result by the number of manuscript pages. When you're using some type of standard manuscript format (12 point Courier, half inch margins) you'll get pretty close to 250 words per page. So four pages is 1,000 words, and a 100,000 word novel is 400 pages.

It's easy enough then to figure out how many "pages" your manuscript will take if published by publisher A, publisher B or publisher T. Apply the same formula to a book from A, B or T and then multiple by its pages. Fallen from publisher T, for example, if it weighs in at 150,000 words, would end up anywhere between 400 and 450 pages in mass market. Less as a hardcover or trade, because those formats puts more lines on a page.

Now, I'm not advocating writing to a specific length. The book will take as many pages as it needs at this point. I'm not forgetting mantra #3 is Hold Nothing Back.

So two weeks down, ten to go. I'll get lots of writing done Week 5. I'm on the road down in Georgia and there's nothing like the peace and quiet of a hotel room for knocking out pages. I'd like to recapture my Week 1 pace, but the new material is slowing things down considerably. (Which I expected. That's why 750 words per day is such an achievable nice goal, why this "challenge" works as well as it does.) I'll hope for anywhere between 8,000 and 13,000 again for the next two weeks. That will put me around 40,000 and 48,000 words. It won't get me any closer to knowing how far I've got to go to the end, but I'll be nearly a third through the draft. Week 5 will take me even closer to the halfway point on the draft. Getting to the new material on the end is the ultimate goal.