Keeping Score

From what I can tell, there are at least two kinds of sporty people. Those who sport and those who know everything about sport.

main_bballbubble_480While some guys like to toss balls and run bases, others are content to learn all they can about people who toss and run. More than knowing the names of famous sportsters, this type focuses on data. They memorize average yards gained, batting averages, and shoe and cup sizes.

If I somehow I woke up with the proper hormonal adjustments to make me a sporty dad, I would surely fall into this latter category.

I know this because writing is my sport, and I write like these fellows watch ballgames.

I am currently 35,900 words into Moon Bait, my middle grade horror novel. At 25 chapters, that averages out to 1,435 words per chapter. I have outlined 30 chapters, so I expect my novel to clock in at approximately 43,000 words. That’s about right for the genre.

Beyond these simple statistics, Moon Bait currently scores a Fliesch-Kincade grade level of 3.1. My novel is targeted to fourth to sixth graders, and I want both strong and hard-working readers to enjoy the thing. So that’s good too.

Approximately one percent of the sentences are passive. I think that’s cool. A guy ought to be able to talk like Yoda one out of a hundred times.

In addition, I have 73 literary agents in my sites. When I send the novel out, I will carefully record percentages that never get back to me, reject me, ask for partials, request the entire manuscript, and those who tell me to get lost at this late stage. I will also write down the names of any enlightened souls who actually want to represent my work.

At that point, I’ll probably do the same thing with the publishers. I dunno. I’ve never made it that far.

So maybe I am not that different than the sporty guys – at least nerds who sport anyway. I keep score just like they do.

But you know, I’d also like to run the bases.


2 thoughts on “Keeping Score

  1. “Moon Bait” sounds like it is moving along. I taught third grade for many years, and I know third grade boys and many girls like science fiction if it delivers a good story. They have an inherent interest in space. It’s good when you know your numbers and can move along according to plan. Oh yeah, third graders love humor! I know your targeting 4-6th grades, but high or highly motivated 3rd graders can stretch up to a higher level book. Have fun writing!


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