Over 1,000 pages so far…

The four-digit barrier’s broken: as expected, the book so far runs to over 1,000 Letter-sized pages. That’s a lot.


While there’s still plenty to write – each day has content, but the last third of the work largely involves connecting the dots and improving the experience before a final month-long editfest late this year – I don’t expect the page count to increase much from here on in. Since each chapter is already planned out, with page and section breaks in place, and most of the content there in rough. It’s now a case of carpentry, not growing a forest.

The pages you can see behind the popup, by the way, are on the web too: they’re the same text as What the book’s about. And yes, while I’d usually do a long piece in Scrivener or Snowflake, the linear nature of 100 Days, 100 Grand makes good ol’ Word the best choice for simply cutting and pasting all the bits together. (The book uses as source material a stack of notes and files I’ve used in my work going back over 15 years…)

Selection of pages from 100 Days, 100 Grand

A selection of pages from 100 Days, 100 Grand … with typesetting marks. Looking colourful!

Typesetting will obviously move to InDesign (or, since I’m increasingly seduced by the beauty of whole-paragraph justification algorithms, LaTex). For the reason why, just look at the example paragraph and the table below it – comparison by Zink Typography.

Zink's comparison of Word, InDesign, and LaTex

Zink’s comparison of Word, InDesign, and LaTex

See how LaTex looks at the whole fruit? Instead of cramming as many words as possible on each line (the way Word does justification, which hasn’t changed since 2008), LaTex (pronounced lay-tek) averages out word spacing across an entire paragraph. Reducing the hyphenations (I have a hatred of hyphenating) and giving the block of text a far more consistent colour. Best of all, look at that SD. It means a much larger number of words in the paragraph have a similarly-sized space between them in LaTex.

LaTex is basically a bunch of macros for textmongering app Tex, which itself has an incredible pedigree – Tex’s creator, Donald Knuth, has a reasonable claim to be the greatest programmer of them all. I’m seeing whether I can apply LaTex style before the book goes to print.

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