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Weekly Word Count: January 22 | Kestrel's Aerie

Weekly Word Count: January 22 | Kestrel's Aerie

Weekly Word Count: January 22


What Is This?

Following the lead of my mentor, friend, and exemplar, Tami Moore, this is a weekly article to document progress in meeting my writing goals as described here.

I set up an Excel spreadsheet to track all my work by category (blog post, copyediting work, creative writing) and item. So all I need to do is add up the “words” column and I’m good to go. I’ve also decided to give this article half-credit, since I do a bit more than just paste boilerplate and fill in numbers (see the next section, for example). However, it will be counted in the following week’s total.

How Did I Do?

My weekly goal is 1,500 words.This week, I published two articles to the blog. I also did the first run-through on copyediting Tami’s Choose: Volume 1 – The Search for a Captain. For accountability purposes, I’m counting copyediting at ten percent of the original word count. I also prepared a style sheet for Choose, which I am counting at 25 percent.1

I should say, right off the bat, rereading the first several episodes of Choose was loads of fun. I found things I’d completely forgotten about, and laughed out loud at several passages (no, not because they were bad, but because they were hilariously funny!). I can’t wait for Tami to finish this project and publish it, so we—you and I—can all read it again, in one sitting.

This first major copyediting project has been a real eye-opener. I’ve edited several chapters of Feather Path for Iris Harper, as well as Bre’s short story, Waking Iris, but Choose is at least as large as the preceding, combined. And because I’m looking at the entirety of the document at one time, rather than just a few pages, I’m approaching this from a completely different perspective. It really makes me want to go back to those earlier manuscripts, and give them the same attention I’m devoting to Choose. However, I have projects for both ladies pending, and I promise to give them the same, more in-depth treatment that Tami’s manuscript is receiving.

  • “Passive and Possessive—Pronouns for Pros” – Blog Article – 773 words
  • “Two-Minute Drill: Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, and More” – 706 words
  • Choose: Volume 1 – Copyediting – 20,000 words @ 10 percent – 2,000 words
  • Style sheet for Choose – Copyediting – 531 words @ 25 percent – 133 words

Total: 3,612 words. Considering I’ve been hitting 1,500 words per week without really trying, I’m going to raise the bar to 2,000 words, despite leaving on a 3-week vacation on Monday. While that increase may not seem like a lot, had I not been editing Choose, would I have hit 1,500? I’d like to think so.

Raising the goal to 2,000 words will also give me the incentive to maintain two or three blog posts each week, as well as do some creative writing each week. I’d like to see that goal bumped up to 3,000 words, but I also know that spring (and summer) will eventually arrive, and I’ll be outdoors more, instead of in front of the computer all day.

Short Grammar Quiz

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve collected a few examples of what not to do, as I’ve been reading various and sundry blogs. I’m going to show you some of those, and let you determine why I’ve selected them. If, by chance, you happen to recognize the snippet, please understand that in no way is my intent to disparage the authors or their blogs; simply to illustrate “real-life” examples of errors in grammar or punctuation. With that, take look at these and see if you can determine why I included them. Feel free to answer in the comments. Also, be warned: The errors are not all that difficult to spot; there are no “gotchas.” :)

  1. … prevent them from dieing …
  2. You’ll commonly hear “bring the player, not the class”.
  3. If someone is moving better then I [am]
  4. some 3/32th inch elastic cord
  5. The traffic to the server is increased massively since Christmas, it looks like there are no end of people
  6. See if your a Canadian or … can count on always having on in your party

__________
Notes:
  1. That’s rather an arbitrary figure, and may be too high; likewise, ten percent for copyediting may be too low, especially considering that it takes at least as long to edit as it does to compose. In fact, I originally posted that copyediting would count at 50 percent; however, I’ll stick with these ratios for now.
 

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11 Responses to Weekly Word Count: January 22
  1. krizzlybear
    January 22, 2010 | 10:54

    2. Is it the period outside the quotation marks?
    4. Is there supposed to be a dash between the number and unit?
    5. Is a semicolon better than the comma?
    6. Is it you’re, not your?

    1 and 3 are stumping me, even though I know both examples are awkwardly worded to begin with.
    krizzlybear´s latest blog post is 3.3 Frost Mage Raiding Cheat Sheet My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      January 22, 2010 | 17:08

      Yes, to all. For #2, I was hung up on the “th” suffix, and didn’t even realize the hyphen was missing; however, I did include it in my answers, below.

  2. Bre
    January 22, 2010 | 11:03

    1. dying not dieing
    2. Looks like there is a comma missing from before the quotations marks and the period should be inside.
    3.Like Kriz, not totally sure, the wording it a little awkward, though it should be than not then.
    4. No idea
    5.Looks like a tense issue. Should it be “has increased massively since Christmas” instead of ” is increased” ? Also, I think a semi colon might be better than comma.
    6. you’re instead of your and one instead of on.

    And I am sure I missed a couple, but hey it was fun to try!
    Bre´s latest blog post is Comment on Saucy Writing Prompt: Stamp, Glorious and Barrel by Bre My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      January 22, 2010 | 17:09

      On #2, the comma before the quoted phrase isn’t strictly required, as it’s not part of dialogue, but it’s not wrong to put it there, either.

      You nailed the rest, as well. :D

  3. Hugmenot
    January 22, 2010 | 11:26

    1. dying not dieing
    2. Missing a colon after hear
    3. than not then
    4. a not some
    5. has increased not is increeased, and and instead of a comma
    6. you’re not your, and having one not having on

    The number of French Canadians attending your party is now greater than zero.

    • Kestrel
      January 22, 2010 | 16:39

      Bienvenue! :)

      While a colon wouldn’t be wrong, as I told Bre, above, no punctuation isn’t wrong, either.

      I can certainly see how you’d substitute “a” in place of “some” but if you had the larger context, you’d realize “some” is the desired word here. The key was the ordinal suffix.

  4. Tami
    January 22, 2010 | 11:51

    *warms at all the Choose-osity* <3

    I cheated and read the other answers, so I won't try to post my own. Too hard to separate what I caught and what I read at this point.

    As I've said in emails, I am honored that you're helping me with the copyediting on Choose. I've already made serious headway in correcting my dash addiction!
    Tami´s latest blog post is New Flash Fiction Up My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      January 22, 2010 | 16:41

      Believe me, the honor, and the privilege, are all mine, dear lady. Not to mention, I had a total blast doing this for you (and for me). I learned so much–stuff I wish I’d known when I was helping Bre and Iris.

      The good news is, now I do know it, so the next projects will be done even better!

  5. Iris
    January 22, 2010 | 12:30

    1. “Dieing” is not a word. “Dying” is.
    2. Stumped. I kinda have the feeling that “commonly” is not properly used here, maybe should be replaced by “often” or something. But not sure.
    3. “Then” is not the correct word here. “Than” is what should be used, since the connection is not temporal but causal.
    4. What is the number supposed to be, anyway? Not-understandable.
    5. “No end of the people” is wrong, should be “to the people”.
    6. I guess this is supposed to say “always having one in your party”?
    Iris´s latest blog post is Blog Transmitted Disease My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      January 22, 2010 | 17:16

      As I told you earlier, Iris, for you, there’s nothing wrong with #2. Sorry for being tricksie…it wasn’t intentional. :)

      On #4, for a non-native speaker, not recognizing the proper suffix for 3/32 is not surprising–considering a native speaker and writer wrote that example. Just another argument for adopting the metric system in the US, in my judgment!

  6. Kestrel
    January 22, 2010 | 17:02

    The Answers

    1. … prevent them from dieing …
    “dieing,” believe it or not, is not an English word; “dying” is correct

    2. You’ll commonly hear “bring the player, not the class”.
    I said there were no gotchas, but if you’re not American, this one was: In the US, proper usage is to place the period (full stop) inside the quotation mark. Elsewhere, the period is outside. (The quote is from an American writer.)

    3. If someone is moving better then I [am]
    “then” should be “than”

    4. some 3/32th inch elastic cord
    This one involves “ordinal suffixes”–1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th…. In this case, it’s “three thirty-seconds-inch cord,” so it should have been written 3/32nd. Better yet: “3/32-in” or 3/32″

    5. The traffic to the server is increased massively since Christmas, it looks like there are no end of people
    Probably the worst example, and from a professional blogger. The way I’d rewrite this sentence is, “The traffic to the server has increased considerably since Christmas. It looks like there is no end of people….”
    This is a classic example of a “comma splice,” and almost anything except a comma is preferred. Because I can’t really decide between a colon or a semicolon, though, I played it safe with a period.

    6. See if your a Canadian or … can count on always having on in your party
    I just realized there is a bit of a gotcha here; I missed it earlier. Here’s the way the sentence should be written; the words in [square brackets] are not part of the sentence, but are “understood” to be there:

    [You] see, if you’re a Canadian or … [you] can count on always having one in your party….

    Frankly, I’d probably start the sentence with “If.” The mini-gotcha is to place a comma after “see.” And note that spell-checking would not have corrected “on” to “one.”

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