Newsletter Ninja Home Page › The Ninja Forums › Cookie Challenge › February 2022 › Week 1 › Calculating the length of my cookie
- This topic has 13 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Isla Elrick.
March 8, 2022 at 5:54 am #11793Jobie BaldwinParticipant
I’ve been thinking about how long my cookie will be based on my current mystery related idea…
In Brandon Sanderson’s BYU, Mary Robinette Kowal explains how to work out how long your story should be using the MICE Quotient. It’s fabulous and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blehVIDyuXk&t=2239s
The equation is basically (((c+s)*750) x m)/1.5 = L
where L = length, c = number of characters, s = scenic locations, and m = number of mice threads.
So, here are my initial thoughts on my cookie (which is a before story of my main character’s first (unofficial) case).
characters = 7 (too many but I need some suspects).
scenic locations = 3 (onstage of theatre, backstage of theatre, catwalk of theatre)
mice threads = 2 (inquiry and character)
(7+3)750 x 2)/1.5 = 10,000 word story
ps. I’m really not sure this is going to help me much but I do love to wander off on tangents…
March 8, 2022 at 3:08 pm #11807TammiKeymaster
OMG I LOVE STORY MATH.
This is nice because it gives you hard numbers instead of estimating, which has been my method. I like it so much! Will definitely be looking at this going forward. Thank you so much for sharing!
March 8, 2022 at 3:19 pm #11809Jobie BaldwinParticipant
You’re welcome. It’s great isn’t it.
March 8, 2022 at 3:22 pm #11811Izzy JamesParticipant
I love story math too. It goes to the fences idea. I find it so helpful to know the boundaries–even though they are ultimately flexible to my story needs. 🙂
March 8, 2022 at 3:38 pm #11822TammiKeymaster
Oh man, I’m watching this now and I LOVE her.
March 8, 2022 at 3:45 pm #11828Jobie BaldwinParticipant
She’s amazing isn’t she? I bet she’s so much fun to hang out with. I want one of my very own.
Ps I’m not loving the tag I chose for this thread 😱
March 8, 2022 at 7:18 pm #11845Jessica HaltiwangerParticipant
There is no way on this planet or the next or the other 6 planets (or 7 if you count Pluto #RIPPluto) that I, Jessica Megan Haltiwanger, am going to be able to write this story in only 13,000 words. I’m thinking I’m gonna need ***at least*** 20,000 but okay. 13,000 is the goal (and now my tummy hurts–but that have more to do with this nasty shrimp pasta I made that really just should not exist)
Also, this thread should’ve been named something to do with mice and cookies. I feel like an opportunity was missed. LOL
March 8, 2022 at 9:01 pm #11849Katje van LoonParticipant
If you give a mouse a cookie…? 😀
March 13, 2022 at 8:10 pm #12377Isla ElrickParticipant
This is very interesting! In a lot of ways, writing short stories is harder than writing a novel … she said as she looked sadly at her 100-150k urban fantasy… (I rant; what can I say, I love Victor Hugo.)
March 14, 2022 at 12:40 am #12381Katje van LoonParticipant
*looks at her 250K epic fantasy*
*cough* Yeah. I feel that on a spiritual level. XD
(I did the story math for my Cookie A and came up with 15K and was like…no. No way. It’s going to take at LEAST 25K to tell this story. But I set my goal at 15K and am going to TRY to aim for that, though if it runs over I’ll forgive myself as Cookie A is for the epic fantasy. 25K is, what, 10% the size of the first book? So.)
(Also I’ve realized I’m a discovery writer — I think that’s the term — I can plan and think things out and even create a SUPER robust outline, but writing ALWAYS creates more discovery of what’s actually happening, which often alters my plans and thus word count estimates. C’est la vie.)
March 14, 2022 at 3:43 pm #12389Isla ElrickParticipant
I’m the same way! I always try to under-outline because I know more bullshit is inevitably gonna come up. LMAO
March 14, 2022 at 2:41 pm #12386Stephanie FlintParticipant
Ooo, boy. Using the MICE quotient calculator and my current outline, I’m looking at 28,000 words. (My stories always do seem to go long…)
I think I’ll go ahead and mark my goal at 15k, plan for 20k, and try to adjust my outline to keep it under 20k.
I absolutely love this video, though. Super useful. 😀
Characters = 4
Scenes = 10 (they kind of blend together, though, so I’m hoping that helps cut the word count)
MICE Threads = 4 (2 events, 1 milieu, 1 inquiry)
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