Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ratcheting the quality knob

Just under 1200 words tonight. This is good, and I hope I'll be able to keep it up, but I know I won't.

In the previous post, I said I wanted to be done by December 18, and I also estimated that the book, now at 120K words, would end up at 150K. In the comments to that post, an anonymous poster* pointed out that I was saying I'd write 30,000 (good, final) words in 23 days.

Hmm. That does seem unlikely. So maybe I won't make that deadline. It would be very convenient if I did, but of course I can't let that take precedence over the quality of the end result. In addition to the new words, I do have a lot of fixing up to do. My file of notes to myself has grown unnervingly large. Taking care of those will take some time and may include some beating of head against wall.

The title of this post refers to something that happened at one of my previous places of employment. It was a (very major) software company, and we were all working madly to get the next version of one of the main products ready to ship by the dumb, arbitrary deadline (pulled out of thin air by the marketing department, as is normally the case in the software biz). One of the high-up managers said in a meeting that we had to make the deadline, and if we thought we couldn't do all the necessary stuff in time, we would just have to "ratchet down the quality knob." Wouldn't customers have loved to know about that!

Well, I ain't gonna ratchet down no quality knob with this book. Or any other.

* The post shows as anonymous now, but I just switched to the new version of Blogger, and I don't know if that caused poster IDs to vanish.


Chris said...

Okay. While I can neither confirm nor deny that I was in fact the anonymous poster that caused you such distress, I CAN say that there's a very good chance said anonymous poster intended that as a compliment.

Apparently, this Blogger upgrade messed with the both of us -- I don't know how I (um, I mean the anonymous poster) managed to leave of my (his?) tag.

David said...

Look! Up in the sky! It's --

Chris! It's you!

The comment didn't really cause me distress, and I did take it as a compliment. However, it was also a good dose of reality.

I have to remind myself that, given how many years it's been since I got the idea for this novel and wrote the first few words of it, it would be absurd to worry about finishing it a month or two or three (or ... ) later than I'd been hoping.