Monday, August 03, 2009
Line by line
I did an experiment over the weekend. Using the color font option on my computer, I "colorized" my first chapter. I used one color for dialogue, one for introspection/reactions/state of mind, one for description and one for backstory.
By my calculations, Chapter One (which is, I admit, short) has 366 lines in total. Here's the breakdown of how many lines in the four categories I have, bearing in mind that there's some overlap (for instance, if there was both dialogue and reaction on the same line, it got counted twice). Also, even if there was only one word on the line, I counted it as a complete line.
Out of 366 lines, there were
13 lines of backstory
21 lines of description
119 lines of interior monologue/reaction
224 lines of dialogue
That's a lot of dialogue, I'll admit, but it's a Regency, so...banter away, you folks!
I try not to have a lot of backstory in the first chapter, obviously!
There's not a lot of description, is there? If there's anything to furrow my brow here, this is it, because I'm trying to establish a sense of time and place in the first chapter.
I won't be doing this to every chapter, but it might be fun (and interesting) to do one in the middle and another at the end and compare.