tiresome word counts

Welcome to my writing accountability post. There won’t be much here, because outside the hundreds of typed pages of notes I took at Montessori training and the hundred and fifty or so handwritten notes I did at observations in November, other types of writing mostly did not occur this year.

Writing for the blog…well, you can see the archive for yourself. Dead for about eight months.

In the area of fiction writing, I finished one story and one piece of flash, for a total wordcount of 10,000. I know that seems like a bizarrely even number, but expr, it does not lie. I could add the fitful 2008 on the story that just isn’t working yet for a grand total of 12,008 words for 2009. Some writers can do that in one day, but I’m not going to detour into I suck land right this second.

The completed story (whose title is “Object Permanence”, btw) is mammoth for me, clocking in at 9,182 words. I can thank (or curse) my invaluable crit group for that bloat, because they kept reassuring me that it was ok for stories to be longer than six thousand words. It needs major reworking for some plot stuff, but in the main, I’m pretty happy with it. It seems rescuable rather than shelvable. I’m in the middle of another story right now, one that I had hoped to have finished by the end of the year, but gah, what I’m trying to do is so complicated that I’m really wrangling with it. It’s just going to take a little more time. The flash is a toss off, for the purposes of not being empty handed at crit group, and because the story apparently won’t be finished in time.

I edited and subbed one story from the vast stockpile of stories which need to be edited, and it’s now making the rounds of subs. I believe I’m 85%ish complete on the edit of Lie Down With Dogs, which I wrote in…November of 2005? Man. I’m editing a story I wrote four years ago! I really need to be better about editing stuff. As I said in a previous post, if I do nothing but edit in 2010, I may still have a dozen or so stories in circulation, hunting down their own hoard of rejections.

I have five stories looking for homes, though only two of those are out at the moment. A lot of markets will open back up January 1, and I’ll be able to fill out those submissions figures. I also have two reprints that I’ve started sending around, to no success, but I just want to say, sending out reprints is fun and stress free, because there’s no stakes on whether they’re accepted or not. The big news is I retired no stories this year. Some have been to more than ten places. If you’ve been reading for a while then you know I usually stop sending them out at ten rejections. So officially, of stories that have ever been good enough to submit, only one is retired. The others are all still out there, plodding along, trying to find a couple of bucks and a place to stay, even with their > 10 rejections. One of the stories in particular is one I really believe in, and I’m not going to stop sending it out until someone buys it! Witness my grim determination!

I made no progress this year on the next novel, unless thinking about it and smiling to myself is progress. Nor did I revise my YA novel Cualcotel, which needs a buff and polish pass but is (mostly) structurally sound before it can be subbed. But you know, editing.

So the 2010 goal is to learn to love editing (or learn to do it even if I don’t love it) and maybe learn to do some alternate story construction things like maybe outline or use index cards or something. Writerly suggestions are welcome, since I usually use the follow the rope down method of story writing. Because this story I’m working on right now? Needs something else. Some different methodology, some different trix, some different approach.

Well, that’s quite enough accountability for one post, isn’t it?

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