Posted by: jeannineatkins | July 5, 2007

Revision Rewards: Word Counts … and Subtractions

Revising, especially when it gets drawn out, and it almost always does, needs some rewards to prod me along. Naturally, chocolate comes to mind, but I’m trying to get a little more creative. I know some people do word counts that give them a satisfied feeling. For me, sweet as seeing all those numbers lining up, getting bigger, just doesn’t do it. Maybe it’s cause I’m not a number person, or maybe I’m cynical – I know those numbers are going to tumble and crash soon enough. Who was the writer who said he spent the morning putting in one word and the afternoon taking it out? Oscar Wilde? Mark Twain?

So I’m thinking of keeping a tab of words I take out or words I substitute – sending off the shoddy or the perfectly good word but a bad fit or just not for me (like clothes to Salvation Army). I might make a pretty good list. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer has a great July 3 entry “This is Just to Say” about tusseling with the word “just.” (and see how I used/misused “just” in sentence above).

Or I’ll just go back to some satisfied sense in seeing a few clean (for now) pages piling up.

P.S. On LJ using — I tried to follow the FAQ instructions to make a link to “traciezimmer” LJ. After much trial and error, error triumphed. If somebody has helpful advice, it would be welcome!


  1. It took me forever to figure this out. Even an extra space can throw things off. But it’s not hard. I even finally figured out how to link the book covers on my reading list to Amazon.
    Where FAQs gives you the <a href stuff? After you copy and past the URL between the " and ‘s…type in what you want the reader to see. their example was:This is a link to an example website. Make sure you don’t leave any spaces between the URL link and the last </a etc. I'm writing this kind of cryptically in hopes that you'll be able to read it when I post, instead of it giving you HTML hieroglyphics.
    If this doesn’t work you can email me at candycana at gmail dot com and delete this comment. I hope I didn’t mess up your comment page with lots of stuff…and I hope it’s helpful.

  2. Thanks for your help! I’m still working on it. Meanwhile, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who finds it difficult! Glad you perservered and conquered and now can even link to Amazon! I have lots of technical goals here, but that’s not surprising. Appreciate the help and patience!!!

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