The Limnades

Weekly Total (Nov 8 - 14): 3,946
October Monthly Total: 3,946
Current Story Total: 3,946
Grand Total: 70,410 (46.9% of 150,000)

Of the three days I've spent writing this story, today has been the most difficult and the most satisfying. This story is giving me the damned chills!

This is the first time I've ever planned a story from "Once upon a time..." to "The End," and it's gone very well. In fact, it has gone far better than I expected. I think this is by far the best story I've ever written.

I hope I can write a climax for this story that is worthy of the buildup that's gone on for 19 manuscript pages.

That reminds me, there are three things — significant things — I've done different with this story than nearly all my previous stories. First, I outlined the whole thing. Second, instead of writing it longhand, I've been writing it on the computer. Third, and most importantly, I've had that typewriter sound software enabled while writing.

Why is this significant? I like this analogy: typewriters are to the writer what tripods are to the photographer. Tripods force a photographer to slow down. They force him to examine the scene before him, to give full consideration to the composition of his photograph. They force him to pause. To think. The end result is a better photograph. I think typewriters have the same effect on writers.

Computers are to the writer what point-and-shoot cameras are to the photographer. You point, you shoot, you move on. It's too easy. Computers, unlike typewriters, unlike writing longhand, make writing too easy. Good writing isn't easy. As Gary Provost said many years ago, "Getting published is easy. What's hard is writing well."

I'm not sure that this story will go the full 7,500 words, as planned, but time will tell. It'll go as long as it takes, and when I come to the end, I'll stop.

I again fed this story into Flesh. The results were as follows:

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 2.80 (previous 3.22)
Flesch Reading Ease Level: 91.28 (previous 89.00)
Words: 3,946 (previous 2,604)
Sentences: 447 (previous 272)
Syllables: 5,134 (previous 3,328)
Average Syllables per Word: 1.26 (previous 1.28)
Average Words per Sentence: 9.14 (previous 9.57)

I think that's bloody amazing! The grade level has decreased, the reading ease level has increased, the syllables per word have decreased, and the average words per sentence has decreased. All those things become harder to accomplish the longer a story gets. That's just how averages work. The average number of characters per word in my last entry on this story was 4.09. Even that has decreased! It's now 4.06. And this story is still in its first draft, too.

In my last entry, when I compared my numbers to best selling novelists, only Elmore Leonard had a bead on me. What about now?

Elmore Leonard
Characters per Word: 4.14
Flesch Reading Ease: 89.53
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 2.68

G D Townshende
Characters per Word: 4.06
Flesch Reading Ease: 91.28
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 2.80

Leonard's numbers are based on a 900 word short story, as I recall. Mine are based on a nearly 4,000 word short story. This has got me excited!

1 comment(s):

monstro said...
November 17, 2009 2:47 PM

I've been meaning to comment on this post ever since you published it. :P

I understand where you're coming from and, yes, I agree with you that most of the time, when we think before acting, the result is usually better. Slowing down to think can be good. But... there's always a but. :P :) A tripod can be an amazing help, and it can be an amazing obstacle. It all depends on the kind of photo you're trying to accomplish, and well-thought photos aren't *always* better. It depends. Sorry, just had to add my 2 cents. :P :D

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