March 7, 2015
When I write, I have this quirk where I add the total word count to single digits, whether it’s a short story or vignettes. My favorite numbers have to add up one of several numbers: three, four, five, twelve, eighteen, or rounded out to an even number. Writing longer pieces, the numbers would go up and then I’ll find myself adding just one more word or deleting a word to keep it to a number I like.
I wonder what other people do when they write, what oddity you display when you’re writing your draft.
I’ve always been curious about numbers, but by no means am I a master at math like my son. I love watching the word count grow and grow when I write. It’s thrilling to write so many words. I can’t tell where this comes from, maybe it’s from watching my dad adding numbers when he would sit at the table after work doodling out numbers on a piece of paper for fun.
The numbers of letters in my children’s names each add up to 19 letters. Mine is 17. I once picked up a book detailing numbers and what they meant. I found the number 19 meant fame and fortune, 17 meant peacemaker. I was intrigued when I realized I had named my children with exactly 19 letters in their names. I often think of numbers like that since I’ve read that book. I may take a drive back to the library and see if that book is still there; I would love to read it more throughly.
I can’t stop myself from counting words when I write. I just have to let the story end when it ends, regardless of the number.
That’s my confession of what I do when I write my stories. What’s yours?
Keep writing and don’t let the numbers get in the way of a great story; that is, don’t shorten the story before it’s done.
Stop quirking around with numbers.
To read more of Mary’s letters, click here!