Tag Archives: word metrics

A writer’s holiday

After the goof off weekend, I planned on one more day of writing. It turned out pretty well, but wasn’t a banner day. My iPad battery says it’s time to recharge, so I’m writing this while it’s on the wire.

I have two of three critiques back for Serang, and will wait for the remaining one. Maybe I can address all of them come Saturday.

Today I focused on the unnamed team-up adventure. I stopped doing word counts, but it feels like about 2000. Lizzie and the hat had a small spat, because they always do. They teamed up with Clovis to chase a red herring that revealed a big surprise. Of course he busted some heads along the way, because that’s what he does. He even got to kill a zombie using a sledge hammer. Fun, fun, fun.

Oh, and Lizzie and the hat stole a second upright bass. It was right there, what were they supposed to do?

Lisa and Jason got the last scene, so they faded into the background for this section. Jason is thinking about going home and cutting his losses. Gina and Gupta shared a new development that raised the stakes and anchored everyone until the end.

I have a conundrum with this one. I want it at novel length, but it’s looking like about 50,000 words will wrap it up. I’ve always said a story should be as long as it needs to be, no more – no less. I still believe that.

My problem is that I have enough 99¢ titles out there. If someone needs a stepping stone into my work, there are plenty of options, even a couple of free anthologies. I want to price this one at $2.99 like most of my recent work. I’d like some feedback here, but I won’t pad word count. I have several big scenes, and can’t be completely sure until I wrap it up. What’s your advice on pricing? Would you pay $2.99 for a short novel?

Keep in mind that my publishing desire is Serang before school lets out, then the un-named project around Halloween. I may park the unnamed one, finish Serang, then see if more ideas pop up for the unnamed one during the Spring.

In other news, the experimental bread rose well overnight. Sourdough is slow and you have to be patient. I punched it down before sunrise, but it’s taking its sweet time on the second rise. If I need to nudge it a bit, I’ll place it on a hot pad.

For the rest of the day, I’ll kick back and wait for the black helicopters to land. Why you ask? These are the windows I have open in my browser. It could give you some insight into both stories I’m working on right now.

  • My blog, Entertaining Stories.
  • Yin and Yang comparison.
  • Viral Hemorrhagic Fever.
  • Marburg Virus.
  • English to Chinese translator.
  • The Chinese Cobra.
  • Three different tabs for an online convention I’m interested in.
  • A chart about how fast Ebola spreads.
  • A map of the districts in Chicago.
  • Amazon for Voyage of the Lanternfish. (I was checking for new reviews. I need more.)

What’s your browsing history look like?

This afternoon, I have to get on with an interview for Lisa Burton Radio. Interest in these has tapered off, but I’m still doing them. I may use the online convention to push them a bit more.

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Miss me?

Yup, just me today. No book promo involved. The book tour is ongoing and will continue for a while.

I’m grateful for all of you that are coming along. To keep it interesting, I made every post unique. To those of you who already purchased a copy, I’m even more grateful. Even if Lanternfish isn’t your cup of tea, there are some decent posts about the inner workings about creating such a book. I’ve had a great time talking to everyone along the way.

This weekend, my wife had to work. Aside from chasing back and forth to monitor blog comments, I managed a lot of new words of fiction. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’m over ten-thousand. I didn’t break it down, because it spreads across two different projects.

When one project requires a bit of thought, I switch to the other. This is completely unlike my regular process, but it’s working.

Aside from letting Otto chase the squirrel, and Frankie chase him, that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend.

We’re off together tomorrow, so I might not get any more writing done, but I really can’t complain. I was pretty productive.

I don’t know what we’ll do, but I have a post out there somewhere to find and monitor. I’ll share it here to provide a path to those who are interested.

Such is the glamorous life of an author. We’re staying in tonight and finding something on the television.

How was your weekend?

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Fiddling around friday

I woke up about 5:30 this morning. Sometimes life is just that way. I goofed around and checked email, my RSS feeds, Facebook, and all the other places. Email notifications reminded me that I had the post at Story Empire today. I recommended a craft book I really enjoyed. Here is a link, if you want to check it out.

Then I moved on to my work in progress. My last section was pretty action packed, so this one slowed things down. Clues were gained during the action bit, so some of those were examined in this section. These sections are always slower to write too for some reason. Still, 2600 new words is nothing to sneeze at.

I wrote with a handicap this morning too. I had both bulldogs in my lap the whole time. That’s about 120 pounds of fun to dodge with my iPad.

There must have been a dozen times they had to go outside to chase the squirrel. I’m a good doggie daddy, so I played along. Not a bad word count at all considering.

Then I went through a stage of polishing Lanternfish up. This took a couple of hours, but I’m glad I did it. I think it improves the overall product.

Beyond that it wasn’t too exciting. I needed time to think about my story, and stopped about noon. That’s about the time Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow came on. I decided to watch it again. Gwyneth had great hair in this one. Back then she was kind of known for her hair.

That’s about it for me. It’s personally exciting, but not exactly blog worthy. I’ll spend the rest of the night monitoring comments here and at Story Empire. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Secrets, colds, date night, and new words

I took vacation from Wednesday through Monday. This time, I didn’t tell anyone, including my wife. This is because the last time I tried to get some writing time it got pirated away. I lose the vacation hours either way, and my employer doesn’t qualify whether I was content or not.

While everyone was reading my group post about hosts willing to promote our work, I was working on new fiction.

Old What’s Her Face was off Friday, and we both woke up with colds. No idea what that was about, but we were phlegmy and both had headaches. She got over it before I did, but by mid-afternoon we both felt fine. Fine enough to go to Old Chicago for pizza and craft beer.

I slung quite a few words today, but didn’t keep score. My tale moved from a transition scene into an action scene, and those move quite a bit faster.

I’d have to consider this vacation a success already. Tomorrow I dedicate some of my morning to calling my parents, so I don’t expect much else to happen. My story is at a point where I have to think about it, and hopefully the Muse will show up for me.

I’m also off Monday, but so is my wife. This isn’t necessarily a deal killer for new fiction, but it’s usually much less than when I’m alone.

If I were to wish for anything, it would have been a couple of guests for Lisa Burton Radio. I didn’t get any takers, and don’t quite understand why. I’ll probably do a promo again, but the risk is to get over a hundred at once like the last time. (At one per week, that’s two years of applicants to get through.)

I could have done without the cold, but it’s been a pretty good vacation so far and I have two days left. Maybe I should look for some December wallpaper.

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Not quite a wrap

I slept in this morning. I never even got started until after 7:30. I have my morning routine to attend to, and bulldogs need fed, etc.

After I surfed through a few kinds of social media, I started reading my previous efforts. I caught a couple of word echos, but I’m sure there are more to deal with later.

The plan was to work through until the end, and it still is. That day was not today though.

However, I did get the issue with multiple ships resolved, and worked through the big finale. My new monster made his appearance and had his big scene. Part of the denouement happened during the big battle, but there is more to come.

I honestly wrote something just shy of 10,000 words. I would have surpassed that number, but my wife called. She was on her way home from work, and that signals the end of my writing time.

I am not complaining. This was a great day on the writing front, and I don’t get many like this. There are two more days in my weekend, so it’s likely I’ll finish my draft before I have to return to the office.

In a perfect world this will happen. I have to call my parents tomorrow morning, and that takes an hour. They’re also coming to visit next weekend, so there won’t be any writing time. If I get it all done this weekend, it won’t matter.

Now my wife has some film festival on that involves multiple headed sharks. They’re up to five right now, with six heads promised later tonight. These fall into the category of bad science fiction that I enjoy once in a while, but they aren’t good enough to really enjoy.

It almost makes me embarrassed to be writing a book with sea monsters in it… almost. My monsters are much cooler.

In other news, we learned that the woo-hoo song from Kill Bill makes Frankie crazy. She ran through the house like an insane dog, wrestled Otto to the ground, and made a loop around the backs of the couch. It was almost like one of those Las Vegas shows where the motorcycle drives around in a cage.

I may talk Old What’s Her Face into watching baseball after this posts. Last night’s game was so bad I went to bed before it ended. Still, it didn’t have a five headed shark in it.

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Managed date night

Today was that day that comes around a couple of times per month. That’s right… bills. I got them all set up in Bill Pay and decided we could afford date night.

I stole some writing time this morning. While it wasn’t my best day, it got me through the transition. There is a fat merchant ship on the horizon, and the pirates are making ready to take it.

I managed just under 2500 words. They need to take a ship or two, because it’s a pirate story, and a happy crew is more likely to go along with the crazy master plan. Not a bad day at all.

We decided to go out on the cheap, and visited one of our favorite dive bars. They had a good Scotch Ale tonight, and they always have steamed clams.

Honestly, I’m a bit stuffed right now. Looking forward to some writing tomorrow too, depends on how the day shakes out.

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While not camping

It’s 108 here right now. I’m watching the baseball game with a cold beer now. Found a little writing time this morning.

This section is about introducing the new cabin boy. He’s kind of subservient, but I want him to show his adventurous side a bit. Right now he’s interacting with the crew a bit, learning a few tasks, and he went through orientation. This involved listening to the root monsters tell their stories on the forecastle. (No, I didn’t make the reader suffer through them again on the page.)

Since this is a bit of character building, I had the captain show him how to load a flintlock pistol. I may have spent too long here, but that’s really what it’s like to load one of these things. Readers might find it interesting, but there were also some remarks about kids and fathers and some nice dialog to break up the task.

We’ve moved into the section that involves experimenting and mathematics. The first test was successful, but too small to be useful. The Captain needs to think bigger to see the real value here.

I’m going to pepper this section with some actual piracy on the high seas. This is to illustrate the success of the new process for my readers. That will likely start tomorrow morning.

For some reason, my transitions take me longer to write than the adventurous sections. It wasn’t a tremendous word count, but I’m at 93, 500 words now. It may be smaller, but it’s still progress.

This next section is to reveal what’s possible for my readers. Then I head into my big final phase of the story. This one might get finished this month with a bit of luck.

I also worked up the shtick for another Lisa Burton Radio show and got it sent out. Keep me in mind if you’d like a bit of free promotion. If you’re holding out for September to release your next book, planning an interview for then works out well.

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