Having been born without the sports (or math) gene, I’m not much into statistics. Numbers make my head hurt and, frankly, I’ve got enough problem with the manipulation of words that I don’t need addition headaches trying to keep track of numbers too. Personal best? In prose, I’ve had a couple of 6,000 word days and a few more 4-5,000 word days, while in comics, I once wrote an entire twenty-two script overnight.
Shortest blog post. Ever.
Still, I like to think it’s the quality of the words one produces, not the quantity, that counts. I’d rather have a few hundred really great words than several thousand merely serviceable ones. But unlike word counts, that’s tougher to quantify. It’s more a matter of how a sequence fits in and works with the story as a whole, what it reveals about a character or a relationship, and how it serves as a pretty but relevant little ornament on whatever story you’ve been knitting together.
Several years ago I wrote JSA: Ragnarok, a novel based on the DC Comics title (and don’t go searching Amazon for it; due to technical difficulties beyond anybody’s control, it’s yet to be published). At some point, the good guys, as is their wont in such tales, fall into the clutches of the bad guys. One of the heroes, Mister Terrific, aka former Olympian Michael Holt, blames his becoming distracted for their plight, which triggers a memory of an earlier incident in his life in which distraction cost him a victory. It’s a compact little vignette, all of about 650 words long, telling how Holt allowed a Kenyan competitor’s behavior in the 400 meter race to distract his focus from his own performance, thereby losing to the Kenyan by .05 of second, but it’s a nice, tight little piece of writing that sheds some light on the character’s personality. I don’t recall if I wrote it in the middle of a longer run of prose or as its own separate section, but if all I produced that day had been those 650 words, I would have been a happy writer.