Daily Archives: November 20, 2006


I began editing down and rearranging Chapter 8 of ESTC today. I took things out and added other things in, and I’ve got pretty much the same amount of words that I began with. More carrots, though, so that’s an improvement. (Carrots are the new measurement of how close to being finished a piece of writing is, after a discussion among friends of how inadequate word count alone is at reflecting completion started by Ceri. More carrots mean the piece is closer to being complete, including thinking and research and polishing and so forth.) Alas, carrots do not render down to a neat little summary the way word count does. So this paragraph will have to do to satisfy posterity.

I left Il Maestro e le Figlie di Coro to percolate for a few days, and went back to it tonight. This is still at the stage where word count reflects progress, because it’s about getting the story down in words, and so:

Total word count, Il Maestro e le Figlie di Coro: 27,423
Total words today: 2,312

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’m aiming for this to be around 60K words long, 70K max, as it’s a YA historical. So it’s roughly about a third of the way there. Not a third of the way done in terms of carrots, however, only word count. Although most of the broad planning for this novella is done, I won’t know how many carrots there are until the first draft is finished. Or I may have a better idea where things stand carrot-wise once I’ve written this second major part of the story, as the third part will be the aftermath.

All in all, a very good day.

Back To Work On The Book That Will Probably Not Be Known As ESTC

I just got the MS back for the spiritual pregnancy book, with the assurance that it feels good and hits the general mark at which I was throwing the ideas.

I am one huge sigh of relief. The problem with being the first to write a book on a particular topic is that you have zero context in which to place it.

I now have two weeks to tweak it and add the things that resolved in my brain the week after I submitted it. And I’ll try to lose another three thousand words or so, to get it closer to the target MS length. Some time away from it has already helped my perception of the work, for which I am truly thankful.

While I do that, we’re trying to come up with alternate titles because marketing’s concerned about the obscurity of the main title. I’m hoping that working on the MS will get my mind going on that too, because over the weekend I drew a complete blank on the problem.