Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Yesterday I read chapter 2 of Image to the two other people who showed up at my writers' group. I have another writers' group coming up on Tuesday. This second one is the one that's only other (prospective) novelists, and the idea is that every session two people bring copies of a chapter ("about fifteen pages," I was told) to the group, then they take it home and read it. Next session you read your chapter aloud and they hand back what they've written on the copy you gave them earlier and discuss it. They meet twice a month.

It sounds nice, although it occurs to me that despite the higher frequency of meetings than the monthly writers' group here in Brandon, it's likely to actually be slower in reviewing novels. The group's about six people total, I think, which means that you're bringing in something once every three sessions--so it's a month and a half between readings rather than a month. And actually, a chapter isn't necessarily fifteen pages--if you're using a 12-point monospaced font (which is the only way you should be formatting a manuscript!), that's less than 4000 words. Granted, this presumes I'm going to be able to write faster than a chapter a month, which remains to be proven.

I didn't get any writing done yesterday, but I did some work on the novel after a fashion--I set up the style sheets correctly in Word and did some minor reformatting to match canonical manuscript format, and I've been hacking out an "estimated word count" function in Word. Publishers, so you'll often be told, don't want real word counts, because what they're interested in is a count which is useful to typesetters--something that they can use to roughly determine column inches. This boils down to a count of lines multiplied by the average words you can get on the longest line, rounded off to the nearest hundred or thousand depending on how long the story is. Getting an estimate like this out of Word is far easier said than done. (If you think about it, you'll see that it's also going to overestimate words--the higher the number of shorter lines in the document, the more off it'll be.)

Last night friends and I went out to eat at "Profusion," an Asian fusion restaurant I'm coming to think of as one of Tampa's best. It's barely six months old here, although there's one other Profusion in Montreal that's been there for a few years. It's been suggested to me a few times that I have a restaurant review page on my website, with little blurbs about various restaurants I've been to in the Tampa Bay area and Orlando.

Today my agenda is (1) buy a USB hub, and (2) see if I can write a little more. It's a beautiful day here--a cloudless sky, bright sun and temperatures in the high 60s. It's the sort of day that makes it less interesting to be inside on a computer, of course, so perhaps I'll take advantage of having a laptop. I don't know what'll happen for dinner--I don't have anything to eat in the apartment other than burgers and pasta, but last night was exceedingly not cheap, meaning any meal out is likely to be in the under-$10 category.

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