- I can barf out 50,000 words in a month on any topic, but this seems to encourage the writing of crap.
- In the publishing world, if you can believe agents and their assistants, such as Miss Snark and The Rejecter (and I think you can), a novel is only (or at least for the most part) marketable between 70,000 and 100,000 words. Fifty-thousand will get you almost to the climax. It's a tease.
- For the past few years my primary projects have been outside the novel: a few screenplays, some short stories, some essays, and even some philosophy.
But I think this year I'll do it. In fact, I signed up for it this morning. The complication is that participants must write something new. Almost anything I have an interest in writing, I've been working on for some time. But I have a way around that.
My big novel project, the one that I wrote 30,000+ words toward this summer, qualifies. Since the work I've done to this point is prep (I even titled the file "Pre-Draft Draft"), and they allow for pre-existing notes and outlines, I'm classifying my material as "notes." I don't plan to use any of it word-for-word in the actual story, anyway. I couldn't. It's not a story--it's a description of a story. For now, I'm calling it Mostly Dead. Or maybe The Other Dead Guy.
So in a little less than a week I'm going to be intent on producing at least 1,666 words a day. Actually, I'll aim for 2,000, since that would put me closer to an actual novel's length. I'm sure in the beginning I'll be able to outdo that goal. After a week or so, though, I may bog down. I usually do.
Like I needed more to do. I'm grading a round of essays every three weeks and my Logic class keeps me jumping on a much more constant basis. Good thing I love teaching that. Right now we're doing Implicational Rules of Inference for constructing proofs in statement logic. Here's a sample:
2. X v (W-->U)
3. ~Y v W
5. (~Z v U) --> ~S .: (R v ~S)•T
6. ~X 4, Simplification
7. T 4, Simplification
8. ~Y-->~Z 1, 6, modus ponens
9. W-->U 2, 6, Disjuctive Syllogism
10. ~Z v U 3, 8, 9, Constructive Dilemma
11. ~S 5, 10, modus ponens
12. R v ~S 11, Addition
13. (R v ~S)•T 12, 7, Conjunction
And there we’ve proved that this argument form is valid.
Take that, you scientists and techies who live to torment me with your crazy jargon and such.
* I call him "MacAdoo" because of a long-standing inside joke. He's an actor, and he's prone to being cast in musicals. At one point I saw him in The Mikado, which I hated, though I thought he did well in his part. At any rate, we joked about doing a Scottish version of The Mikado, and it would almost have to be named The MacAdoo, because when pronounced with a Scottish accent it sounds almost the same.
And I thought it was funny. Which may be a point against the idea.