DIY Writer’s Organization Program, Pt. 6

Standard

Here we go, the most challenging left for last, because there really isn’t an automatic way to word-count without a frame program.

But is that really so important? Everyone has to take breaks. It’s never more than a couple of keystrokes to get wordage — unless you’re in something simple-minded like TextEdit or MS Wordpad for WindowsCE. That’s what I have on Rosy, and it flat won’t do word-counts. I spent days looking for it before abandoning hope. But then, it wouldn’t run a fancy binder program, either!

So you really do need something more sophisticated than that. No word-count, no good.

One-piece manuscript, no problem: you word-count when you break and just Highlight and Copy. Then you Paste the total in your work log, a word-processor file.

In the days of small files, I worked out how to keep a total in multi-files.

At the head of each chapter/segment/scene, you put:
Chiller
3E
xxxx words.

That’s four words that don’t really count.

Now, you set up a spreadsheet of 4 columns labelled —
Segment     Raw count     Real count     Synopsis

Make it at least 30 rows.
A: The first column has the segment marker, 3E in this case.
B: The second has the word-count you got for that file, “Raw Count.”
C: “Real Count” has a little formula that takes B(the column)x(the row number) and takes away the waste words: Bx-4.
D: This is just so you remember what things are in 12 words or less.
At the bottom of column B, put in the word TOTAL.
At the bottom of column C, put in the formula that adds up C2 (C1 is the title of the column, remember) through the last segment.

When you plug in a change in Raw Count, hit Sum or Total or whatever your program likes, and it will update the totals.

Okay, so you’re doing it by hand instead of the program doing it. You’re also saving the cost of the program if you have a newish machine, and getting the function at all if you have a legacy machine.

You can even fake the brainstorming programs. Use your graphics program. Make a huge canvas, and each note gets its own layer so you can move it around. Use the Text tool to write it, in whatever colours you can distinguish. Use any font you have on board. (Great place for fonts you can use free if non-commercially for your own use: http://www.blambot.com/) Just make it like 12-point. It means you have to zoom way in to read it, but you  can then make the canvas a meter square and squiggle ideas all over the place. Me, I don’t think like that. Never did. Rather than shapes in space, I see it as patterns through time.

So that’s your guide to doing about everything the “spare brain” programs do, for cheap or free, and doing it today.

Now go write wonderful things with this.

Start over with Part 1.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: DIY Writer’s Organization Program, Pt. 5 | hollyiblogs

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