New Year’s Revolution

che-bart-simpson1I liked the sound that of that title. Not sure what it means exactly, but I like it. I see Dick Clark in a Che t-shirt. I guess it’s an android Dick Clark. Or maybe it’s the guy above there.

I’ve got four stories out at the moment and another four in the works; I continue to revisit old stories, sometimes throwing them out and starting them over, sometimes editing and rewriting them so extensively they become new. Again, I’ve lived with a lot these things in the back of my mind for a long damn time. As the stories sell there’s a sense of liberation, release, and a sense of urgency, to come up with new things.

My goal is to produce 1500 new words a day, five days a week. I’ll also edit and revise and submit and research, but the 1500 is not negotiable; if I miss my totals I make it up on the weekend. If I go over I can save the words up, too, or buy a day off.

So far so good.

I’m exploring writing in other genre’s under various pen names. Science Fiction, fantasy, genre, whatever you want to call it feels like home to me, but I’ve read extensively in other genres too, so, why not give them a try? Maybe I learn something. Maybe I bring that back to the SF.

The 1500 a day feels like a good number; that’s 2-3 hours on a good day, 4-5 on a bad day. It’s a bit less than the 1600 or so a day of nano-wrimo, the short-novel-in-a-month thing, but I’m taking weekends off; it’s 50% more than Carolyne See’s 1000 word a day goal as detailed in her Making a Literary Life. (Oh, and I’ve given up on her charming notes, short notes written to connect with working writers whose work you admire, for the time being. I’ve made a few contacts but five notes a week seems excessive.)

Writing faster I find that the editing process is longer and more involved. No big surprise. But it all feels doable at the moment.

Non-writers are confused by word counts; they think in pages, though the e-reader is screwing that up, with variable font size. So how long is 1000 words? One way to measure the length of a text is by having your computer read it to you out loud; (it’s also a good way to copy-edit a text.) A recently completed 11,000 word novelette of mine clocks in at seventy four minutes when read out loud by Mac OS. So a 1000 words works out as 6.8 minutes.

At this rate it takes ten weeks to complete a first draft of a short novel. (9.7 to write The Catcher in the Rye, at 73,000 words; It would take 28 weeks to complete Moby Dick at 203k words (writing it, not reading it.) So the industrious soul should be able to crank out two Moby Dick’s per year by working, say, six days a week.

On the one hand it seems like not very much work at all; telling a seven minute hunk of a story per day; on the other hand, writing two Moby Dick’s per year seems absolute ludicrous. Chances are most of the writers you read do not produce final product at anything like this rate.

But some people do.

I’m going to try to be one for awhile.

Wish me luck.

(This was 560 words, and it in no way counts towards my daily goal. So off I go!)



Posted in Self Indulgent Mémoire

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