Saturday, February 03, 2007

Susan Wittig Albert, Saving Dinner, and word count

Well, I'm at 6537 and counting. (And although I usually don't write on Saturdays, I'm going to have lunch with Jo Virgil, the CRM of our local B&N (and also a writer), and Susan Wittig Albert. Am very excited. And will be at our local B&N for a while beforehand; perhaps I can slip in another thousand words.

I've gotten a lot of e-mails regarding the novel word count thing. My goal is to offer a place to post how far you've gotten, and get some encouragement. Just post your word count in a comment... and keep commenting as your word count grows. (And it's amazing how fast it will go; if I keep going at this pace, I will be 10 percent of the way finished with the first draft of this book by Tuesday.)

And here's my fascinating fact of the week. I looked up Nora Roberts' web site the other day. You know how many books she's written since 1979?

One hundred and eighty.

Holy smoke.

Talk about inspirational. I also discovered she's not a big fan of outlining; she just lets the book unreel as she goes. Which is interesting -- I love finding out whether authors outline or just let it fly.

On another note, here's something I found recently and love; I tend to spend more money than I care to think at the grocery store, on all kinds of fascinating items, and use like a third of them during the week. (I'm sure you've been there too; why, look at this goat cheese! And these beautiful turnips! And these dried whats-its! I'm sure I'll be able to concoct something wonderful that no one will eat! Of course, all of the above end up spending a few weeks in what I call the 'rotter' before heading out to the trash can.)

So, anyway, in my effort to make things easier around the house, I found this web site called Saving Dinner, where they send you a weekly menu mailer -- and a grocery list. So far, the recipes have had about an 80% hit rate -- and I am no longer panicking every night at 5:30. (No more 'what fell out of the freezer' nights.)

And I have more time to write.:) (And fewer rotted turnips.)

Well, I'm off to Barnes and Noble to work through another few pages. Hope your days are great -- and feel free to use the 'Comments' section as your way of posting your progress to the world!

P.S. New word count is at 7337, which is 800 words on the nose. Lunch with Jo and Susan was wonderful -- I had the scallop salad and forgot to get a picture, even though I brought the camera! And Susan writes 1500 words a day, 7 days a week, which was interesting to learn. She really is amazing. She writes three fabulous books a year -- and even takes 3 months off. (Her latest Beatrix Potter just came out in mass market paperback, and she's got lots more fascinating projects in the works.)

Truth of the matter is, though, I think it's best to pick a comfortable achievable word count and do it regularly than push too hard all the time. What do you think?


At 10:18 AM, February 03, 2007, Blogger Laura K said...

I didn't do so well yesterday...only about 700 words...that's when my iPod quit working and how am I supposed to write without it???

I have a couple hours free this afternoon, though, so I'll try to make up for it then.

At 10:22 AM, February 03, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...

Laura, I'm totally with you on the iPod. What do you listen to?

Great job on the words, though.

I'll tell you, half of me is tempted just to sit here in my slippers rather than go get dressed and start working.

We'll see which of us manages to turn some more out. :)

At 10:42 AM, February 03, 2007, Blogger Laura K said...

In regular life I listen to almost anything (with certain notable exceptions like rap or anything that screams at me rather than singing), but when writing I listen to a lot of folk (Eliza Gilkyson is amazing if you like that type of thing) and old Ella Fitzgerald and really moody stuff. In the early 90's there was a band called "Dead Can Dance" who did amazing atmospheric work--vocal, yes, but the words made no difference. Their music was all on weird import-label albums, but I was working in a record store at the time, so I got my hands on it! (A quick check of iTunes shows they must have made a later album called "Wake"--you can check there to listen to a clip).

Off to get my tush in gear!

At 4:23 PM, February 03, 2007, Anonymous georgina said...

I have completed a grand total of 501 words today, but it was all in one sitting-I don't know if that makes it less pathetic though!

I did spend a few hours staring at a blank screen though!!

At 5:05 PM, February 03, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Five hundred and one words is a big accomplishment! If you did that every day, you'd have an 80,000-word book written in less than six months.

High-five! (And good for you for sticking out the blank screen time.)


P.S. Laura, I'll have to try those out! I'm a Sting and Death Cab for Cutie woman myself. Sometimes the Cranberries and Thomas Dolby, too. Nothing too jarring, though...


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