Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writing by Genre and Draft by Year

So August is typically a month I devote each year to rereading stories, poems, and other writing projects of mine to determine what will be submitted over the coming year and what I will rewrite over the coming year. Given that, I thought it might also be interesting to review how many first drafts I've written each year, which genres those pieces were in, and how many subsequent drafts I completed that year.

The following charts indicate by year stories, poems, and chapters of longer projects accordingly. The first chart shows items by genre, with first drafts versus later drafts split out on each bar. The second chart shows items by first draft versus later drafts with items split out by genre on each bar. Finally, the third chart breaks everything out. Poems are a bit of an odd creature here, since I don't keep track of drafts of those, so I can only note how many were written.

For the longer projects, which may or may not have chapters, I've designated five thousand words as an average chapter length (since some novels had no chapters and some have short ones) and divvied up the material accordingly. Screenplays count as three, according to the three-act structure of screenplays. Furthermore, because stories I've worked on, especially in recent years, have often been from wholly conceived cycles (that is, the pieces work together so that the material falls somewhere between a story and a novel), I've indicated these types of stories separately.

There was a drop-off in 2000. In 1999 was when I first had home-access to the Internet, and much of my time during the next few years was spent online, chatting with my new toy and trying to get dates. In part, I'd been so discouraged by lack of publication and lack of writer friends and so encouraged by online correspondence that for a while I did not make writing much of a priority. When I moved to my current home, however, that changed, because I was now back among a literary set and because I'd become discouraged in the dating arena much as I had been in the publication one.

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