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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Page Numbering Question

This might be a really stupid question, but, when you write by hand, as you seemingly did when you were in reclusion just now, how do you keep track of what 'page' you are on? You wrote that you are on page 96, and I assumed that is (at least roughly) the page of the final printed book. Or is it the page of the notebook?


I don't know what page I'm on of the final printed book -- that will depend on the size of the type, illustrations, layout and many other things. I can tell what page I'm on of the book I'm writing in though.

Hang on. I'll get out a cellphone and take some pictures. I'll include my hand for scale. (Although it's only an accurate scale if you know how big my hands are. Er, they're quite big.)

The book looks like this:




I got the blank book in Venice and it is almost too beautiful to write in, but it's really solidly built and takes the amount of punishment that being hauled around the world by me tends to give. I have four of them -- two I bought, two were a gift. This was one of the gifts.

I wrote The Graveyard Book and my name on the first page because it made me feel like I'd started something...




I tend to write an average of a little under 200 words a page in this book. Depends on the pen-nib, really...




I go off and number the pages about 50 pages ahead of where I am, because otherwise I will absentmindedly misnumber them while I'm writing. And as I start a new page I circle the number. Putting the circle on the number makes me remarkably happy. Also drawing a small gravestone with a number on it at the end of each chapter.




I'm writing less words to a page than will be in the printed book, of course. There's about 20,000 words in the notebook so far. The chapter I've already written, "The Witch's Headstone", is about 10,000 words long. And I think* the book itself will be around 60,000 words - twice as long as Coraline.




*Well, I hope. It's unlikely to be less. I tend to underestimate, though.

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