Friday, July 07, 2006

Stretched squares and Novel lengths

This latest project is driving me mad. Being self-taught I am not sure where I have gone wrong but all the blocks are different sizes and will have to be cut down. Thats the bad news. the good news is that I was so discouraged that I decided the agony of writing a novel was preferable. So, alos inspired by the unbrearable heat which has been preventing me sleeping I returned, until the early hours, to the novel and got all but the final chapter out of the way.

In so doing ( and in playing on Google for quick micro-breaks between lines ( as I do)) I stumbled on this blog from a literary agent which led me to the tip that if you look at the 'Search Inside' facility on it gives you the word length of the books. ( Note: on a quick survey it does seem to be on the US facility only but it might be available for certain books on the UK site that I haven't found.) It took me a while to find it but it is in 'Text Stats which gives you all kinds of other information such as 'Words per Dollar'!

All of which told me what I knew already - mine is too long. Only three of the books on the shelf in front of me as I played were longer: The Mammouth Cheese. Small Island and A Suitable Boy. All prize winners. Still trying to work out if lenght is a relevant factor in that connection! Either way, I still think mine is too long so it is off to the editing room for me

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