Where Is Dave?

Today’s post is, to put to better use a concept from sport, a post of two halves. I am looking for opinions on progress tracking, from both writers and non-writers. I also have details of my most recent guest appearance.

Many authors give information on their current works in progress on their blogs, sometimes in fine detail; for example, Hugh Howey is currently sharing word-counts for several ongoing projects. Depending on their personality this information might be designed to show interested people how they are progressing or to shame them into not missing targets; potentially many authors even use these public updates for a little of both.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I so not usually provide updates on specific projects, saving my posts for thoughts that interest me or techniques that could help others (and a few cat posts to keep the internet running). However, I am sometimes asked over various media how one or another of my current projects is going, so finer detail does interest some of you.

Therefore, to make my progress public while both sparing people the effort of wading back through feeds or finding emails and keeping the blog posts interesting, I am considering creating a works-in-progress display.

My current approach to writing is to focus on creating completed works rather than word-counts, so the standard word-count gadgets would not serve; and even if I were focusing on word-counts, I doubt I could predict at the start of a project whether it would be 5,000 words or 7,342 words, making the progress meter merely a guess until almost at the point it was rendered obsolete.

Instead, I am planning to display the stage a project is at with an estimate for when it will move to the next stage. As I have yet to find a widget that lets me set broad progress I intend – at least to begin with – to create a page showing the dates which I update manually.

This is where your opinions could help. What information would it interest you to see?

Which stages are complete, and when I aim to complete the next step?

Draft 1: All Stages Shown
 Project Description  Complete First Draft  Complete Editing  Submit
Two Cats in a Box An example work based on the cat box next to my keyboard COMPLETE 17 July 2013
Project Sparetime A novel set on a floating casino crewed by albino robots 10 November 2013


Just which stage I am at and when I intend to complete it?

Draft 2: Current Stage Shown
Project Description Status Date
Two Cats in a Box An example work based on the cat box next to my keyboard  Editing  17 July 2013
Project Sparetime A novel set on a floating casino crewed by albino robots  First Draft  10 November 2013


Another set of information?

Are you aware of a widget that would display the information?

Also, as mentioned above, this week you can read another dose of my work. Yesterday my article Blood with a Twist, containing some of my favourite deviations from the standard Western vampire myth, was published on C. J. Brightley‘s blog. If you are interested in me writing a guest post for your blog, please contact me in the usual way.


2 thoughts on “Where Is Dave?

    1. I could imagine Twitter working for accountability, especially if you have followers who would chase up a low count. For dates weeks in the future it seems too impermanent though.

      I feel progress meters can be used for two different things: fulfilling a desire to have a flashy gizmo showing the words flying onto the page, which might well be pretension, and replacing scatter-shot progress reports to multiple people, which might be a good way of saving time and increasing follower happiness.


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