I've been writing my novel in .md format for quite some time now, but there are some issues with that. If the next sentence makes you roll your eyes, you can probably skip this post:

I need a fixed column-width so that I can "size" paragraphs by feel.

Why is that a problem? Well, the simple answer is that, in Visual Studio Code (my editor of choice), fixed column-widths don't apply to .md files. They apply to pretty much any other file type you can imagine, which... You know, that's great, but why on earth .md has been excepted is beyond me.

I've come up with a solution: I've decided to just name the markdown files with .nv instead of .md and not to worry about, you know, syntax highlighting. It doesn't make any difference to Pandoc, which apparently does its dirty work on the basis of the content of the file rather than its filename extension. I guess that's probably fine, then.

So, here's the math: an 80-character column gives you sixteen "words" per line, in the technical, publishing-related sense that a "word" is defined is any sequence of five characters. This means that you can figure the number of words in a paragraph by multiplying the number of lines by 16: 16, 32, 48, 64, etc... It's actually kind of convenient, as a programmer, because I'm used to adding in those quantities anyway.

Most of my paragraphs, apparently, fall in the 96-112 word range. I don't think that's a good sign; it's on the long-winded side of things, in the same range as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I guess that makes sense, given what I have read, but it concerns me nonetheless.

Anyway, a small side note: I'm leaving up the "help" posts here for the time being, because I probably need to know what they say anyway.