The Journal, Monday, 5/30

Hey Folks,

Unsure what the day will hold. But my son is safely ensconced in his new life in Flagstaff, my wife goes to her job today, and my grandson is still mired in “hurry up and wait” mode.

So probably I’ll start a new novel. (grin)

I’m excited about the new series for which the the novel I just finished will provide the basis. BUT…

I’m kind’a jonesing to write in a different genre. Or maybe from a different character POV in that series. Hmmm. So we’ll see.

Either way, I’d like to get started on a new Something (novel) today to give me a little head start on the novel for June.

I just noticed this morning that another writer who keeps a running tally of words written tends to overestimate.

I found that curious. I mean, when you do that, you’re only fooling yourself. (If you’ve noticed too and want to comment, please don’t mention any names. It is not my purpose to embarrass anyone.)

Anyway, to each his own. But that spurred me to write this little note about word counts.

When I total the Fiction Words written for the day, it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t approximate. I go by the word count at the bottom left corner of my Word document.

I pop up my onscreen calculator. I enter the total words of the WIP from the bottom left corner of Word, then subtract yesterday’s fiction word count for that particular WIP from the previous Journal entry.

That gives me the specific number of new words I’ve added to the WIP for the day. That’s what I record for Fiction Words.

When I total the Nonfiction Words written for the day, it’s less straightforward and a little sloppy.

Say you’ve got a pot of beans boiling on the stove. The way I count nonfiction words, maybe sometimes there are a few places where bean juice leaks over the edge of the pan in a few small streams. (When I’ve reported maybe 5 or 6 words that are repeated.)

But I take care to avoid boilovers. (grin)

When I’ve finished writing the Journal entry on my Notepad document, first I highlight everything from the first paragraph through the last “Of Interest” item.

Then I copy and paste it into Word, and record whatever Word says is the word count. Then I round that off to the nearest 10 and record it in the space for Nonfiction Words.

In other words, I don’t include anything from “Fiction Words” to the end. To me, that would be cheating myself and artificially inflating the word count. And why would I want to do that?

I do include the titles (“Of Interest” and “Today and Writing”) but the nonfiction word count is only an approximation anyway.

BTW, I approximate it because after I copy/paste from the Notepad document to the actual Journal post online, I read it over. During that process I often add another thought here and there, and of course those don’t get added into the word count.

I’ve mentioned here before that keeping track of my fiction and nonfiction word count is important to me. It’s a tool I use to drive myself.

But if I over-report anything, I’m gutting the tool, so I might as well toss it out.

Today, and Writing

Rolled out WAY late at 4:40. The sky was light for goodness’ sake.

Piddled away much of the morning. Moved out to the Hovel at around 8, but couldn’t decide what to write so I just messed around out there too.

Back to the house around 9, and my kitten met me at the gate. She’s being a bit needy this morning, so I’ll spend some time up at the house. I still plan to write, but closer so she knows I’m not way out in the Hovel. (grin)

Well, after awhile I went back to the Hovel. I wrote about 2100 words of new fiction, but it was boring me to tears.

After the opening (around 600 words that bored me), I thought “Well, I’ll keep going awhile and see what happens.”

Nope. I should’ve tossed it when the opening didn’t work.

Anyway, I’m not counting the words today. Yes, I wrote them, but there’s no chance I’ll use them in the current form, so I’m not counting them.

If I use any of those words later (great title, great idea) I’ll count them then.

So today is a nonwriting day. Tomorrow I’m Tucson bound to end the month so I might not get anymore fiction written this month.

That’s all right either way. Looking very forward to June already.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

“How to Give a Book Reading” at There are some things here with which I stringently disagree, not the least of which is “To write a book, you need to sit alone at a computer for several hundred hours.” I mean, how freakin’ long is that book? (grin) But you might find a helpful gem or two.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 840 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 840

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 45313
Total fiction words for the year………… 292907
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14620
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 89310

Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 382217

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 552 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novel Goal (15 novels)………………… 5 novels
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 25
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 3
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 167