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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

Word Count

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Solar Eclipse

I added 'em up.

Since August of 2006, as of this morning, I've written 117,062 words of fiction, or thereabouts.  That's the equivalent of a decent-sized novel.

The great majority, 88,840 words, are HP fan fiction I wrote in almost exactly one year between August 15, 2006 ( The 312th Edition) and August 3, 2007 (Minding the Baby).  There are also 9,230 words in fragments of FF stories and chapters I haven't completed yet, including Ch. 4 of Returning Were As Tedious (3,000 words), The Schoolmistress (a sequel to The Torch, 2,880 words), and Arripo (a sequel to Report on Excavations..., 683 words).  I wouldn't bet on any of these being completed in the near future.

Since the end of August, I have focussed on original fiction, finishing four full stories and six original drabbles (for a contest), for a total of 14,879 words.  Three of these stories (and the drabbles) have been submitted to magazines or contests.  One already got rejected and has been submitted somewhere else (after some revisions).

The final 12,660 words are incomplete original stories -- ten of them, ranging in size from 156 to 3,353 words.

On the one hand, I'm happy to know that I can complete a novel (or its equivalent bulk) in eighteen months while working a full-time job.  On the other hand, I note that my rate of output has decreased (by about 25% in average words-per-day) since I moved from FF to OF.   I'm doing a few things to bring the rate back up, but the ideas for original stories are slower in coming, and it's scarier.

David Gerrold, the noted science fiction author, commented in his book on writing (Worlds of Wonder) that "Your first million words are for practice."  Even if you get published, he says, you should think of it as practicing.  Even if you win an award, you should think of it as "practicing accepting awards."  Don't take yourself seriously until you've finished the equivalent of ten novels.  I suppose that does take the pressure off a bit...

  • tah..dahh!! That is amazing. Lots of words for sure.

    Yes, you can squeeze in a novel between teaching, grading, planning courses, reporting back to your supervisors, chastising/praising students, sitting in on committess. Not to mention raising a family. Good think I can't write, eh?

    Enjoy your gift. :)
    • Thanks, Rachel. I have days when I wonder whether I have a gift. Recently the writing's been slow, and not as good as I'd like. But I'll get over it.
  • Well done, Ken! That's quite a lot of writing!

    It makes sense to me that OF would take longer to write than FF, if only because you have to spend additional time coming up with and developing all the characters (not to mention, sometimes, the times/places they inhabit).
    • Thanks, Coo. It makes sense to me too, but part of me is scared that I can't do OF consistently. It'll take a while (and a lot of stories) to be confident that that's not true.
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