View Full Version : How Long Does It Take You To Write?
April 12th, 2003, 01:01 PM
How long does it take you to write a page (about 400 words)?
I'm perhaps one of the slowest writers out there, it's difficult for me to simply make an outline and refine it later on. Usually I write with a fountain pen, and even though later on I'm going to transfer it to the computer and refine it their, I can't help but spending enormous amounts of time making it sound like it's the final draft.
So usually I spend about an hour and a 1/2 on a page. Sometimes it can take me up to two hours, but a large contribution to that length is my constant pacing, sometimes I need to get out of my chair and pace to think. During the summer I will usually climb a mountain and write as I occasionally gaze down at the world from above, that's about the only time I'm able to write with a decent pace.
April 12th, 2003, 01:13 PM
Well, I write on the computer... Used to do the pen and paer thing, but I ended up changing so much when I transcribed it, it wasn't worth the effort.
I can clock out about 500-1000 words in an hour. I once wrote the first draft of a short story in three. The story was about 3,000 words.
But that is rare. I can pound away if I am in the mood and the story is ready go and I have the time.
My second novel took about four months to get into first draft. (86,000) words. But it took another six to get it ready to send out to the publishers...
But take today I have had the time, but being not well I haven't had the mental effort to do more than re-read stuff and mess about on a couple of forums....
My problem is many by the time I get sorted each day it is near to 11.00 am... I have to be at work for 1.00pm. So when I get in, in the early evening, by the time I am sorted out again I am too tired to write more than a few paragraphs. Saturday and Sunday are my usual writing days, or if I get the odd day holiday when the house is quiet..... No teenagers!!!!!!!! TURN THE MUSIC DOWN!!!!!!!!
April 12th, 2003, 03:33 PM
In full flow I can type 80-90 words a minute, though that does not include moments to stop and read the previous sentence, or to pause a moment after losing the tail of the inspiration so as to catch it again.
Sometimes, though, I'll look at the same page for weeks or months without finishing it - and then suddenly go into a writing frenzy again.
Speaking of which, the family go away to the in-laws, so I'll have 8 full days to myself. I'm aiming to get around 20,000 worsd done then. See what happens, though.
April 12th, 2003, 07:55 PM
I usually write in hour blocks, sometimes I can pump 5 or 6 pages out and at other times it's all I can do to complete a sentence.
My last book was 145,000 words and the first draft took me about six months but I was dedicating almost all of my spare time to it as I was working to a (Self imposed) deadline.
I try not to edit at all until the first draft is finished and this seems to help actually get the work done, (sometimes it is hard not to go back and tweak here and there) personally I find the story really takes shape during the editing process and spend as much time editting as I do writing the first draft. (I should probably spend even more on it but hey.)
April 12th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Roughly I average about a page (in Word) per hour. The variance in this is pretty wide though. At top (sustainable) speed, I'm looking at three or four pages per hour. Sometimes, if I've had a bit of a break in the middle of a project, I go back an re-read at least the recent parts so reabsorb myself in the moment. On occasion I'll edit and delete more than I write, so it is possible to have a negative output.
April 12th, 2003, 10:26 PM
It really depends on the situation. For example, if I'm writing a short story (1500 words) just for fun, not worrying about characterisation, theme, etc., I can churn it out in an hour. If I am at work on something else, such as a prologue for a futue WIP, I may write a handwritten page in about 25 minutes. As more depth comes into my writing, the more time it will probably take to write.
April 13th, 2003, 12:38 AM
I average about 610 words to a page in Word, which usually takes me between half an hour and an hour. I've been writing less per day on average over the last few months, but occasionally I have a 2 hour spurt where I can write 3 pages in one go.
My first piece of serious writing was the year before last. It was a 243,000 word novel which took me about 13 and a half months writing almost every day, and including a day off after each of the 33 chapters for editing.
April 13th, 2003, 01:22 AM
Very impressive Milamber, that's a lot of writing, experience is a major key to success. I do have a small word of advice for you though, when submitting they usually like the font size to be 12, and the lines to be double-spaced (makes it much easier to edit). You should be averaging more like 300 words to a page on word if you go about it that way.
I must comment a little on all these people who are churning out 5 or so pages in an hour. I really can't imagine the quality being that high of a caliber. That's only 12 minutes a page, I'm wondering if it's due to impatience, or if these are simply extremely rough drafts. I take a great deal of patience in every sentence I write, I want every piece to be beautiful artistic prowess, I want it to read like eloquent poetry.
I'd really like to see an example of a page one of you speed writers have done. Just to get an idea of what quality you're able to assemble in such a short period.
April 13th, 2003, 02:43 AM
In terms of quality, I figure that speed of writing would actually be irrelevant. Sure I rewrite - as the work develops it becomes unavoidable. But I still have to return and modify scenes to ensure a strict POV use.
Creativity is a strange master - when you tap into inspiration you need to keep with it. when a moment of inspiration fades, that's when the piece can be touched up in a technical manner demanded by the markets.
April 13th, 2003, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by Hemingway
I must comment a little on all these people who are churning out 5 or so pages in an hour. I really can't imagine the quality being that high of a caliber.
To give you the simple answer Hemingway, when I'm writing five pages an hour the quality of my work is shocking, bad spellings, typing, grammer, plot twists that don't make any sense... But it's first draft and it's about as rough as it gets, however this is a process I've worked on for a while now and it works for me. I used to agonise over every single word, I would spend months working to perfect the first chapter then move onto the second chapter, however this is where I often came into problems as the story grew and I found I needed to go back to chapter one and work on it again, and spend months on it again, eventually I'd make it to chapter three and what-do-you-know, I discover all the changes I made in chapter one and two are going to have to be done again.
Now I write the first draft and try not to edit at all until it's finished, make notes in a revisions file about everything that I need to go back and change, then really work on the editting side of write.
And as for posting it here, not on your life, as I said it's really, really rough, I'm not trying to write a finished novel in the first draft, for me (and this is just how it works for me) the story is really made in the editting, but again that might be because my first drafts are so rough.
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