Significant ZT Milestone

For those of you wondering:

Zoe’s Tale just hit 90,000 words, which means that it’s officially contractual length (my Tor contracts specify books that are 100,000 words long, plus or minus ten percent). If all goes well, I’ll be done in the next 10,000 words or so.

In other words: Not long now.

Now stop bothering me. I’m working, damn it.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

22 replies on “Significant ZT Milestone”

I have not found the length of a book to have any relation to the quality or value of a book. Does tor think they are buying some bulk commodity like sausages?

You’re fudging. That’s not a proper Blather Test Report. Now if you don’t fill out the correct web forms, in triplicate, with carbons, and notarized with the proper punch stamp — how will anyone ever believe you?


The Department of Redundancy Department
Dr. Phil
Assistant Secretary to the Assistant Secretary


“Does tor think they are buying some bulk commodity like sausages?”

I believe Tor believes that having the book that length makes it easier for them to make, price and sell, so yes, commercial considerations are part of the equation there. That’s business, nor should it be at all surprising.

Personally speaking I don’t have any problem with it because the natural length of my novels (i.e., how long the story I want to write needs to be to be told appropriately) fits right into that length anyway. If I was contractually obliged to write 120k, I might be in trouble.

So… this is the bonus phase, so to speak. In terms of encouragement, I offer this: for every additional level of bonus or polish, you’ll probably sell an extra umpity-thousand books, therefore, fudging some math:

If 10,000 words = additional $10,000.00 extra in royalties and
you can write 10,000 words in 16 hours (10.41 WPM – seems reasonable), then your rate of pay over those two days for bonus and polishing will be an effective $625.00 per hour. I say: go for it!

(Math majors: this is intended to be encouragement for the final push. Please do not bring anyone down with quibbles!)

Woot, I say, woot!

I am actually whittling my novel down from 100K. We’re at 99,888 and shrinking.

I’m gonna have to fly out and beat ‘em with my own manuscript..

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

I’m just a few stops away on the subway. Send me the manuscript and I’ll beat anyone you want.

Scalzi, if you are ever contractually obligated to supply 120K words but can only pinch out 90K, feel free to call on the Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club.

We could easily supply a 30K word report extolling the marvels of Magnificent She and listing your deficiencies as Her acolyte. This would be an outline for a series of books, actually.

The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

Hey! What are you doing? Are you writing a book? It looks like you are writing a book. What’s it about? Is it hard? Do you stop to eat sometimes? Where do you get your ideas for your books? Does it bother you sometimes that you don’t actually work?

What are these? They look like more books. Did you write all these, too? How long did it take? Why did you call it that? Are these books any good? Sometimes I use the right sized books to prop up my monitor. These are too small.

This sure is a small room. Hardly enough room for both of us. Can I put my drink down on your desk, on these papers? Don’t these cats get in your way?

For a writer you don’t seem to talk a whole lot. Hmph.

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