Monday, February 22, 2010

Things Like This Fascinate Me, Pt. 2: Wordcount Over Time

This graph tracks my progress on "Cocke & Bull" by showing the total word count as time passes. I am pretty pleased that there has been steady progress on the book. I recall that there was a fairly long lag time after about 20K words on my previous first draft when I was trying to figure out what to do with the story I'd begun once it had got underway. This time, behold the power of outlining:

Again, I'm not sure if there is anything to be learned from this chart, but things like this fascinate me. And, of course, posts with charts are more convenient for Big D to read at work, because he can almost pretend that he's looking at a science blog. What will, I think, be interesting will be a comparison of chapter lengths before-and-after revisions. Stay tuned for that one in a few months.

Edit to add: I have found the similar chart from my last book:

You can see where I started the project and then ignored it for some time (this is the only version of the chart I have, so the axis labels are illegible; sorry), and also where there was a lot of stalling in the middle of the book. So, huh.


  1. Look at the linearity of this thing! Such consistency!

    I think I will leave this open on my desktop and see if anyone in the lab notices that it's not biological science. If they do, I'll have to knock them over the head with a frying pan (which I have) and then drag them to a river (which LA, naturally has).

  2. Yes, quite linear indeed. Haha, this is awesome. I feel like I should come up with some clever analysis that you can do with your data, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.

  3. Davin: Yes, such consistency! The consistency of potato-leek soup (leftover, one day)! I was going for the consistency of salmon mousse, instead! O, failure! O! Have you knocked anyone over the head with your frying pan yet? Why do you have a frying pan in your lab?

    Livia: Yes, I can't think of a single way this is actually of any help to me. And yet I am compelled to keep track of things like this. A voice in my head tells me that if I look closely at my methods, I'll be able to improve them. Sometimes I think that voice is just drunk and knows nothing about the production of art.

  4. Davin's comment makes me want to draw a cartoon. He'd be in big goofy lab glasses, of course. :)

    Great charts, Scott. Mine would not look like that, which is why I don't do them. There would be too many lulls and I'd get depressed!

  5. I am in awe of your consistency.

  6. The slow starts are very interesting to me. At least it is a consistent thing--as everyone seems to be pointing out. Hmmm. I wonder what that means.