f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 5 of Imaginary Metrics – Wrapping Up

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, January 21, 2005

Day 5 of Imaginary Metrics – Wrapping Up

This is going to be brief today. Snow is piling up here and I don’t even want to figure out the metric that will show how awful my commute is going to be.

Instead I want to reiterate a few things.

1. No book will ever be judged by a statistic or single number. That’s lunacy.

2. Like any statistic, these metrics we’ve talked about have absolutely no value in and of themselves. They would only be useful when applied to a statistically significant number of books—and then only if a definable pattern emerged. My gut, obviously, is that if somebody crunched the numbers a pattern would emerge.

3. I’m more interested in what the metrics help us do. They help us look at our books in a different way. They get us thinking about our novels in total, something sometimes we have a hard time doing. Also they give us some objective measurements of our novels—and trust me every writer loses their objectivity about their own work.

4. In the end, it’s just another way of bringing intention and self-awareness to this process. Writing is hard enough to only rely on our instincts. To be able to write as well as we can we need to bring as much intention and purpose to the project as we can. I 100% believe there’s something inexplicable and “magical” that happens as the best novels emerge…but that’s only a small factor. The rest we can control and need to control.