Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introducing the Peyton Progress Meter

I'm stuck at a crossroads on a story I've been writing and decided it would be fun to come up with another "meter" to measure my progress. I already have the Reggie Miller Writing Continuum, a magical meter that keeps me honest on my word counts. Were I to update the RMWC (or simply "the Reg"), tonight I would've technically been blocked by Tayshaun Prince.

But there's no fun in posting that.

So now, I have a new meter. Don't worry, "The Reg" isn't going anywhere! The new progress meter features Peyton Manning and is intended to track the individual progress of a work. You'll find the Peyton Progress Meter (PPM or "Peytonometer") below:

A quick guide to the meaning:

First Draft: I probably should've called this "Reading the Defense" or "First Down," but I kind of like the idea of Peyton coming up to the line of scrimmage and getting his "first draft" of the defensive game plan. Obviously, this category means a story or book is in the process of being written.

Audibles: Step 2 on the Peytonometer is "Audibles," which translates into "Revisions." When a story/novel hits this stage, the first draft is complete and the story is being revised/reworked/rewritten.

Beta Reader Handoff: Once I've called my audibles, it's time to send my story off to my beta readers (I'm actually looking for some if anyone's interested). This stage includes getting comments back from readers and making changes based on their suggestions.

Going Deep: Once I've taken into account the suggestions from my beta readers, it's time to release the work into the wild! That means sending the short story out to a publication or directing a query letter toward an agent or publisher.

We Have a Winner: This is the triumphant moment that a work gets accepted for publication! Raise that Lombardi Trophy up high, Peyton! Congratulations...we have a winner!

Of course, not every story comes up big. Some are one-and-done, some advance to the AFC Championship Game before falling short, and others simply fade away. These stories have been rejected...or as the Peytonometer calls it, Foxboroughed!

The following tragic graphic reflects these unfortunate situations:

You can expect guest appearances from the Peytonometer as I continue to share my writing progress.