85,000 Words and Counting

It’s been a long road, and I still have a couple of miles to go. Last night, though, I achieved a milestone that is only 3,000 words shy of my original goal of an 88,000-word first draft novel. In the end, the first draft seems like it’s going to be significantly longer than I had anticipated.

Over time, of course, the story has changed. The characters have taken on lives of their own and have altered the path and meaning of their collective journey in ways I couldn’t have possibly conceived when I started this project in earnest a year and a half ago.

I have planned and outlined two final chapters for this draft, the first of which I will begin authoring tomorrow night. If all goes well, I hope to take the month of October as an opportunity to take a break from crafting this story–to get some fresh perspective–before the revision and editing process must begin.

The more I look back at this process and what it has wrought, the more excited I am about completing this phase. And the more excited I get about completing this phase of the novel, the more I anticipate the next phase. Truly, the act of novel writing is a joyful process of discovery for me.

Why did I wait so long to do it?

‘Tampa Tribune’ Editor Thinks Charging for Online News is ‘Delusional’

From Romenesko:

Tampa Tribune editor Janet Coats believes there needs to be a more aggressive approach to getting online ad revenue. "We have spent 15 years in this industry getting newsrooms to change. By God, they have changed. How much have things changed on the ad side?"


Is Fast Flip a Fast Flop?

Alan Warms thinks it’s a giant step backward in online news distribution. It’s also nothing really new. For years, traditional media have devised and developed and partnered with technology companies to "digitize" their print content in print layout form. Thus far, none have been as successful as news content delivered via plain old vanilla web browser. (hat tip: @freddieoconnell)

From a consumer standpoint, I don’t get this at all.  I’ve spent from late 2005 to the end of last year almost exclusively on online news — seeing what’s worked and what doesn’t — and this feels like those “magazine readers” that appeared regularly through the last ten years.


Ingram’s POD Service Plans Expansion to France

Lightning Source, the print-on-demand brand of Ingram Content Group, and trade book publisher Hachette Livre are planning a joint venture that will create a print-on-demand hub in France. Lightning Source already offers print-on-demand services in both the United States and the UK.

Phase 1 of the joint venture will enable Hachette to vastly extend the range of services it makes available to both Hachette-controlled publishing houses and to third party customers of its distribution facility. With the successful completion of Phase 1, Phase 2 of the joint venture will be launched giving independent publishers the option to participate in the POD program, regardless of ownership or distribution contracts.

Philadelphia Shuts Down Library System

Cory Doctorow laments the closing of Philadelphia’s library system. Apparently the government could not find enough money in its budget to fund the system. The city’s neighborhood and branch libraries, as well as their community outreach programs, will close effective Oct. 2, 2009

Picture an entire city, a modern, wealthy place, in the richest country in the world, in which the vital services provided by libraries are withdrawn due to political brinksmanship and an unwillingness to spare one banker’s bonus worth of tax-dollars to sustain an entire region’s connection with human culture and knowledge and community. Think of it and ask yourself what the hell has happened to us.