Word Meter for Projects

Word Meter & Exciting Writing Year

Last year I was involved in publishing two anthologies – Lost in the Museum and The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales – which sucked up a lot of my writing  time. This year I have some exciting news. I’ve been asked by a publisher to write a couple of kids’ novels for their You Say Which Way series. These are interactive e-books, similar to Choose Your Own Adventure or Pick a Path stories, where kids choose which way the story goes. I’ll have more exciting news about these soon. I am also finishing a kids’ novel and rewriting a young adult paranormal romance that has been on the back burner for  over a year. So it’s exciting and busy!

I thought I’d keep everyone up to date on my progress with my new word meters in the sidebar – a cool way to let my readers know what I’m up to. These word meters will be updated as I make progress.

Progress as at mid July 2015. To be updated soon!
Progress as at mid July 2015. To be updated soon!

Currently as you’ll see :

Black Belt Bailey – a middle grade martial arts novel for 11-13 year olds – is complete at 38,000 words.

The first draft of Dragon’s Realm the first of my You Say Which Way adventures – is finished at 42,000 words. This was fun to write and I look forward to receiving feedback from the publisher soon.

Nymphyre is a YA paranormal romance that has been brewing in the background for a couple of years. It was at about 92,000 words, and I’m whittling it down to about 80,000 (currently 87,000 and shrinking.) Written in fits and starts between other projects, this novel needs a through rewrite! I usually write a novel from start to finish, not over two years, so it’s been really interesting to rewrite this, bringing all the scenes into line with how I now want to the story to run. Clarkes’ Critique Group have taken my innocent sentences twisting them with their risque humor, making our local library cafe ring with laughter for hours on end as we chortle over possible romantic twists! Luckily most of these ludicrous suggestions will remain in the cafe – although their sound story-crafting ideas have been steadily worked into the novel. What is it about romance that makes people giggle and come up with silly jokes? Monkey Lab, my other critique group have also enjoyed aping around with the story!  Lots of grunting & screeching during those critique sessions – think chimps at the zoo.

Mystic Portal is a project planned for later this year, another You Say Which Way – a mountain biking adventure with a twist! Or several twists, depending on which paths you choose!

My 5 Criteria for a Word Meter

If you’d like to create a word meter, pop by this site to see the one I use. There are many out there, but my criteria were quite specific:

  1. Ability to reflect progress on several projects
  2. Include total word count and names of projects
  3. I did not want the names and word counts to take up too much space on my sidebar, so I decided to have meters with the words and count inside them.
  4. Flexibility with color (I can choose my own)
  5. I wanted to reflect which phase of the writing process I am at with each project , e.g. draft, editing, 2nd draft, rewrite etc.

This site enabled me to do all of the above.

5 Steps to Creating your own Word Meter

Hint: I used the following steps to make my word meters:

  1. I created several word meters with this resource
  2. I inserted the information I wanted (Project phase, name and target word count) inside the caption field.
  3. I decided to use blue for finished phases of projects and red for unfinished phases.
  4. I copied the code into one text box plug-in, in my sidebar, to create the word meters you see now.
  5. I repeated this process for each project, and saved my code in a word document for easy access (so I can edit the source code instead of using the site, next time).

Enjoy popping by the blog to see my progress. It’ll be nice to see you. Now, I’d better get back to writing or I’ll never be able to update the word meter.  See you soon.

Writing Course – What I Learned


Take a chance on yourself and your writing!

Holly Lisle has limited registration on her writing-career-survival course, HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS. The course will only be taking new students until Thursday, March 5th, at 11:59PM USA Eastern Time. After that, no new students will be able to join for a year.

How To Thinkl Sideways - using both sides of your brain while writing!
How To Think Sideways – using both sides of your brain while writing!

I stared writing my first novel in 2009. After a year, it was finished — and as long as two-thirds of Lord of the Rings! I revised for a year and shaved a few thousand words off it, then decided to take Holly Lisle’s novel revision course. Her methodology was great, and helped me to knock about 60,000 further words off my novel.

But while I was on her forums I heard students discussing her HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS course, and raving about it. Knowing Holly was a teacher with remarkable insight, and because I’d enjoyed her other course so much, I was keen to see how she developed her novels.

I joined How To Think Sideways in 2012.

This writing course wasn’t what I expected. I thought I’d just learn how to plot better and create a cohesive story.  Instead, I used art, diagrams, visualisation, sweet-spot-maps and many other right-brained techniques to develop the themes in my new work before I even started plotting.

I also learned how to query and submit my work to publishers, and how to set up a platform as an author or indie publisher – with step-by-step guides to help me through all the aspects of platform building.

My left-brain was also challenged to analyse many aspects of writing that hadn’t occurred to me. And then there was my favourite type of activity – setting off Muse Bombs – sure sources of inspiration that gave oomph to my writing.

Holly was great at explaining her procedures and giving me new tools to work with. She provides worksheets, videos and chat sessions and continues to add to her courses as she develops new resources. (Once I bought the writing course, more material was added, which has been great.) And Holly has been great at cheering for my successes!

I’m Holly’s affiliate because this course helped me in ways I didn’t expect — as well as providing the basic building blocks of crafting an interesting novel, it provided tools to analyse myself psychologically and determine the most effective way to move my work forward.

While doing one of her ‘quick ten-minute’ exercises,  I came up with a new idea for a novel — I’ve since written that novel! Of course Holly also discusses good story beginnings, building characters, dealing with soft middles and how to create endings that sell your next novel. There’s so much content in this course, and Holly outlines it all here.

How To Think Sideways is worth your time. But if you don’t agree, Holly has a GREAT money-back guarantee — you’re not risking anything by taking the course.

Look-HTTS-HollyLisleGo take a look. You’ll be glad you did.

But hurry. If you miss this, it’s a long wait until next time.

(Remember the course closes on Thursday, March 5th, at 11:59PM USA Eastern Time. After that, you’ll have to wait a year to join.)