Monday, September 23, 2002


I'm doing the math. I don't know if other writers hack through the numbers like I do to decide on a writing strategy. For me, I feel better when I have a plan of action.

Currently, my rewritten version of Complimentary Murder is 40,000 words and 200 pages long. According to agent Andrew Zack's website mysteries fewer than 70,000 words are hard to place. So I need to add 30,000 words. That sounds overwhelming and it would be if I allowed myself to dwell on that huge sum. So I crunched the numbers and this is what I figure I need to do:

There are currently 18 chapters. 2 short early chapters are going to get merged and I'm figuring the last 2 chapters can count as 1 since they are short action chapters. So now I have 16 chapters currently (for math purposes). If I make each chapter 17.5 pages (adding 5 pages per current chapter) and add 4 new chapters I should hit my new word count goal. And at the rate I've been writing I believe I can manage adding the extra pages to a current chapter in a day and write a new chapter in 2 days. So in 24 days I should be done. If I allow myself a comfortable 4 days of writing a week, I'll be done in 6 weeks. If I manage to hit my goal AND write every day I should have it in 3 weeks and 3 days.