Auntie Doris’s Road to Publication #1: Word Counts

Word CountsIt has been almost painful watching my nephew Michael this week. If you ask me, he had got to rely on me that little bit too much. Now that I have put my foot down and refused to do seven or more little homilies a week for him, he is moping around like a little lost lamb with a face as long as a miserable donkey.
It’s not as if he hasn’t got anything to do. He is supposed to be editing the stuff that I have been writing through him for the past year, and getting it ready for publication. But something like that is out of his ruddy comfort zone. So he has been finding plenty of excuses not to get on with it. In fact all he has done so far is to print out the complete Auntie Doris Years from 1900 to 1999 and use his ruddy computer to find out how many words are in it. Apparently there are about 58 thousand. This has disappointed him a bit, because that’s only the same length as “The Wind in the Willows” which is only half the length of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and about a third of the length of “The Da Vinci Code.”
I told him not to be bothered with that. Everyone knows it’s not size that matters, but what you do with what you have got. “The Wind in the Willows” is miles better than them other two books, which are basically a load of shite. “The Auntie DorisYears” is quality. And I should know, because I wrote the ruddy thing.
For some reason, this didn’t seem to cheer him up, and he starts moaning about work needing to be done, and using his big long words just because he went to university all those years ago and probably swallowed a dictionary while he was there. “Ohh” he says, “It needs structure, and consistency, and themes, and sub plots. It needs conflict and resolution, rising and falling action, and a beginning a middle and an end…” He had my ruddy head spinning. I have never heard so much nonsense in all my living days. The only bit that I properly understood was the last bit, and that’s obvious. The beginning is on the first page and the end is on the last, and the Middle is on the page that goes on about 1950.
Any Road, I said to him, if you want all that ruddy fancy stuff in it, you had better sharpen your ruddy pencil and get on with it then. You can ask me questions, but you are doing the writing from now on, and I hope you don’t ruin the ruddy thing with your clever clogs ideas.
So I shall be taking a back seat and watching him struggle a bit while he tries to make sense of it all. Do you know what else he has done? He has got himself a big sheet of squared paper and he has written the years along the top, and drawn a line representing everyone’s life on it. Mine, my Raymond’s our Madge, my Mother and Father, April May and Cyril, even himself! Then he has put all the events of the century on, and the things that happened in people’s lives, so that he can “see it” he says. It strikes me that he is just playing for ruddy time rather than knuckling down and getting on with the job in hand. But isn’t that men all over? It’s a wonder that any of them ever gat to finish their ruddy novels. I can’t see Barbara Cartland messing about like that, or Jackie Collins either. Women know how to get the job done. By getting on with it. Not by messing about with Ruddy graph paper.
Any road, I’ll be off and let him get on with it for a bit. I’ll do another report next week. If there’s anything worth reporting that is…

2 thoughts on “Auntie Doris’s Road to Publication #1: Word Counts

  1. Overthinking yourself, Auntie, can lead to a loss of charm. Give your nephew a rollicking if he strays in that regard. I loved “Wind In The Willows” Should my humble book ever share a shelf with it and yours..

  2. That would be lovely Worzelodd, to fill our shelves with ruddy good stories. I might have to have a new shelving unit put in though, what with the People’s Friend annuals, the People’s Friend Fireside books and my Patience Strongs.

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