View Full Version : How many words a day do you write?
September 17th, 2002, 03:45 AM
I'm currently writing approx 1000 words per day of the first draft of the fantasy novel I'm working on.
What about everyone else? How many words do you write per day?
September 17th, 2002, 05:07 AM
At the moment nothing, zip none....:( When I feel like writing I am too busy and when I have time I am too tired.... catch 22 at the moment...
But I have written drafts of up to 3,000 words in a day.
A tip I was given was never try to write more than about 4,000 words in one go else you start to waffle and have to re write.... As the author that gave me that tip has sold a few million books I sort of listened.....:D
September 17th, 2002, 06:55 AM
I try and force out at least 1000 words but if I am in flow, I won't stop for love or money.
Stephen King recommends writing 1000 a day as a minimum and to force the words out until that quota is met.
September 17th, 2002, 07:00 AM
I usually write down 2000 to 3000 words per day. But there are of course days that that I write 0 words, or days that I only edit the previous stuff. Once I've writen close to 10,000 words (!), but I've been working on a HUGE chapter, that I didn't know it would be so big. :D I was writing all the afternoon, until 11-12 p.m.
September 17th, 2002, 08:29 AM
Hey Holbrook! Who was the author that gave you the advice?
September 17th, 2002, 12:36 PM
I visit Janny Wurt's fan forum now and then and she answers questions quite often about writing...
Me being cheeky sort, asked, a couple of years ago, about the sword she had painted and designed for Arithon in her light and shadow series... I pegged the type and date pretty close to the ones she had used as a base.
She mentioned in the course of the thread how much she writes a day and her reasons....
September 17th, 2002, 04:04 PM
I don't nearly write enough for my liking, but I agreed whole-hearted with Juzzza about " if I am in flow, I won't stop for love or money"
Sometimes when you're in the flow, you can't stop until your body starts to hurt and you HAVE to quit for a while for health reasons!
Although it's good to set a target and have a regime to work to like 1000 words a day, I find that if you get stuck on a part and you could often take the story or a character down one of several avenues of possible fate, it's best not to plough on with the most obvious course, but take time out and find the best route and make the story as good as you can.
Too often when I read a book or watch a film I think "I know where this is going". When a writer takes you by surprise and you say "WTF! I didn't see that coming!" it makes for a better read IMO.
Another trick I use it to not necessarily write the book from start to finish. I write chapters or events I know will be in the finished article, but not neccesarily in order. Then I edit the pieces together later on.
Sorry if this is obvious and everyone does that too, but I don't get a chance to speak to many writers other than on this forum.
September 17th, 2002, 04:26 PM
I find that if I plough on, I take the story down a route that does not work, least for that story. But I save it, especially if it is a piece of "action" and recycle it.:eek:
In fact the whole idea of the "weeping lands" in my story "The Hat Man (shameless plug, see short story section for first three chapters) was in a partly written story some three years old, plus the idea of the convoy and the "spy" .But it never really jelled until this spring.
Also my work tends to wander for awhile as each idea is worked in.
Though once I hit about 40,000 words I have to write a "crib" sheet to keep the characters in some sort of order. These often include possible fates and paths of said character.
I know that as I begin work on the sequel I need to write out a "crib" sheet for each character detailing roughly what the did in the first story. So that I can refer to it in the second book, reminding both the reader and myself of what took place previously.
I have a 200,000 word story, my first book, which I want to rework but have yet to pluck up the courage, as it was the result of three years hard research and writing.
The stories half started at the moment will at looked at once I find time.
It is time I am short of not the desire to write. :(
September 17th, 2002, 06:29 PM
I once established a quota of 1000 words per day and I found that it worked - sort of.
I got the 1000 words easy enough, but the problem was one of quality. I ended up about 50 000 words into a storyline that started out good, but just wasn't going anywhere. I think the problem was simply a failure to plan out the story.
I like Holbrook's idea of a crib sheet.
Because I have a day job (grad student) and a night job (because I'm a student and I like have such luxuries as food and shelter) I don't have the amount of time to work on my stories I would like. I usually end up working on my writing for a few hours here and there. I average about a page (500 words?) an hour so after 20 pages a couple of weeks have gone by since I've started. It's darn hard to remember the details of a beginning that I wrote 2 weeks ago! It's even more difficult for stories that I come back to after shelving for a year. That's whay crib sheets are great.
Don't you just hate it when you kill off a character, then weave him into you plot later on, because you forgot he was dead?
September 17th, 2002, 07:19 PM
For me it varies.
Generally on a Monday (when I'm not at work) I try to get 5,000 down. On an average workday when I know I'm going to be in front of the PC come the evening, anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 is a success.
Having said that, I've found that setting a target for the week is better than day by day for me because it gives some leeway. After all, with the best will in the world you aren't going to crank out the requisite amount day in day out.
And I don't beat myself up if I don't make the word count. So long as the work is ticking over you can pick up the pace when you're really motivated and flying.
It's important to remember not to get lost in the number of words at the expense of the story. There's an inherent risk that, if you're forever looking up the word count as you're working (and we all do it sometimes!) you'll compromise quality for quantity...
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