Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Much ado about little things

I popped open my word document to start working on Crowmaker this morning and discovered that the running word count I'd become used to seeing at the bottom of the page on Power Writer was, of course, no longer there. Since I was no longer in Power Writer. (No kidding.) Which left me with the options of obsessively checking word count with the word count tool every five seconds (a temptation too great for me to resist) or returning to my old way of counting daily word count which is translating it to more of a daily page count utilizing the standard publishing practice formula. Either works; the second is allegedly more accurate and foregoes the obssessive temptation bit, so I went with that. Standard practice formula is to use Courier 12 font and whatever margins will yield you 25 lines per page (EDIT: and 60 characters per line, including spaces, usually right around a 1" margin on all sides), which gives you an estimated 250 words per page. For my current summertime goal of 1,250 words/day, that's 5 pages.

(Why, you ask? Here's the most succinct response I've seen about it. Go pretty much anyplace that writers gather and you'll find heated debates on the topic, however. It's the method I'll continue to use for submitting purposes until someone gives me a good reason to stop, but I stop short of stating "OMG, that's how you HAVE to do it!" See this for a really good opinion on the word count debate.)

Anyhow. Since I'm in rough draft mode, it doesn't matter a whole lot how I track word count, except for my own purposes to provide me with tangible proof that yes, I am getting work done. When I did a quick and dirty count on what I had so far, I found that my publishing method gave me a different cumulative word count than my previous Power Writer tracking tool had--no great surprise there. To make everything jive with my Storytoolz progress meters, I adjusted my word count on my progress meter. So no, I didn't write quite THAT much today. Although the muse has dragged me out of bed before my alarm every day this week, so maybe 5,000 words in one day isn't entirely out of the question. Someday.

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