Words Per Day

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Nick
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Words Per Day

Post by Nick » February 13th, 2010, 1:24 pm

One thing I've noticed lately is I'm more or less hitting the same number of words per day, and thinking back on past writing endeavors, I seem to have hit about the same. Of course, some days I go over; sometimes drastically. And of course some days I go under. But on average, I seem to be hitting the 1000-2500 word range. Which...really isn't all that much, I don't think, but then Fleming only wrote 1000 in the morning and 1000 in the evening so maybe it's not as bad as I'm thinking it is. Aaaaaaaaaanyway, just wondering if anyone else is keeping track of their word count and about how many words per day you all write.

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JustineDell
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by JustineDell » February 13th, 2010, 1:42 pm

Yeah, I keep track. It's pretty sad of me because I'll write for like fifteen minutes, then highlight all the new stuff to see how far I got! I do like five times every time I write - it's pathetic. Mine is generally 1,500 per day give or take. There are some days when I get super motivated (and uninterrupted) and fly away with 3,000 or more in one sitting.

Then there are the days I fall flat. When I can only squeeze out 500, but sometimes thats a stretch depending on my mood. And even then I may end up erasing those 500 words the next day because I decided they totally stunk. LoL.

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

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Bohemienne
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Bohemienne » February 13th, 2010, 1:46 pm

Years ago I used to track my daily counts in a spreadsheet, and tried to hold myself to impossibly strict expectations: 2000, or 500, didn't matter, I expected it every single day. My life is just too frantic, though, for that. If one day I can soar through 5000 words, but the next I instead spend polishing 300 words until they gleam, and the next day I don't ever even make it to my keyboard at home--that's all right. As long as the general movement is forward. Generally, though, I average around 800-1000 more or less edited words a day when I'm really in a groove.

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marilyn peake
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by marilyn peake » February 13th, 2010, 2:35 pm

When I'm writing on a regular schedule, I usually write about 1,500 words per day, four or five days a week. Toward the end of writing a novel, when I'm on a roll and trying to wrap it up, I often end up writing around 4,000 - 5,000 words per day ... but that's only toward the very end of the novel.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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fionaw
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by fionaw » February 13th, 2010, 4:49 pm

I manage anything from 2000 to 10 000 words a day. I live a reasonably quiet life (no kids), so on my days off I can write without interruption. One of my best days was flying Maroochydore/Sydney/Melbourne/Devonport - 16 000 words!

I have no idea what the people sitting next to me on the planes thought...

When I was 'in the zone' last November, I bought a dictaphone because my typing wasn't up to the speed of what was going on in my head. I have a neat little program that transcribes mp3 to text, which is very handy.

Bron
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Bron » February 14th, 2010, 4:03 am

When I'm writing a first draft, I try for 1000 words each weekday and 2500 words per weekend day. Like Marilyn, when I'm getting towards the end of a manuscript and trying to wrap it up I'll try and do more - I'll choose one weekend day when I know I'll have no interruptions and aim for 7000 words or so. I'm in awe of Fionaw's 16,000 words!

I'm editing at the moment so how much I get through varies enormously day to day.

Nick
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Nick » February 14th, 2010, 12:08 pm

2083 and contemplating rounding out the chapter there. Most words I've done in days (previous record for this week was 1512 on Thursday). Might actually seriously break the 2000 today, too, instead of just 83 over. Right now taking a break to eat the bowl of tuna that's been sitting in front of me for thirty minutes, but I have the beginning of the next chapter fresh in mind, so that will probably be going down soon. Today is a good day indeed.

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Holly
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Holly » February 14th, 2010, 1:31 pm

Nick wrote:2083 and contemplating rounding out the chapter there. Most words I've done in days (previous record for this week was 1512 on Thursday). Might actually seriously break the 2000 today, too, instead of just 83 over. Right now taking a break to eat the bowl of tuna that's been sitting in front of me for thirty minutes, but I have the beginning of the next chapter fresh in mind, so that will probably be going down soon. Today is a good day indeed.
Hi, Nick. I like your image of the bowl of tuna sitting there for 30 minutes. This morning I put some eggs on to boil, sat down to revise a scene, and forgot about the eggs until they exploded! They actually went ker-blam like in the cartoons. Now I know that's what happens when the water boils away. I don't know my daily word count. I write at the speed the glaciers move (well, actually, they're moving pretty fast these days).

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writeitsideways
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by writeitsideways » February 14th, 2010, 4:09 pm

Wow, I feel so totally inadequate!

A really productive session for me would be 1000 words. Generally, it's more between 400 and 700, although I only work on fiction first thing in the morning, for about 1-1.5 hours. I try not to self-edit too much during the drafting phase, but sometimes I can't help myself. I suppose even though I'm not cranking out a lot of material each day, when I do go back to read, I see there's significantly less re-writing I'll need to do later on.

For those of you who are writing 1500 or 2000+ words a day, are you writing for several hours? Do you need to do a lot of revision in subsequent drafts?

Even with my slower pace, I've calculated my daily word count average and it shouldn't take more than 6 months to get a solid first draft. If you consider spending another 6 months on revisions and editing, it's still a novel in a year. In my mind, that's not too shabby.

Of course, I'd love to be faster, but I don't really have time at the moment.

Nick
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Nick » February 14th, 2010, 4:22 pm

Got another 1197 in earlier, 189 of which is definitely going in the trash can. Went out and now the mojo is gone, so unless it comes back later tonight, which I doubt, I'ma done for today. I'm happy though. Today has been very productive.

As to spending several hours...yeah, I spend a few, but usually not many. I hit the 2000 point usually in 3-ish hours, and that's writing during most of that time. On days when I'm extra distracted...well, yeah, it took me seven hours to write a page once. As to revisions, it varies. My last MS I found didn't need a lot of revisions beyond typos and grammatical errors, but I also fix some things as I go along. Most of the revisions are like that 189 which'll be going in the trash can, because I dislike the joke the protag cracks and I feel it's too soon to introduce one of the characters. Might not even introduce her at all and if it becomes a series like I hope it will, introduce her later. Might also be moving this chapter to further down the line, because it occurs to me that for events to happen in the manner they're happening now, it's still totally IC for my protag's partner, but he's already assholish enough. Not sure I want to spread that butter any thicker. Like I says, revisions just kind of happen on the fly so by subsequent drafts I hopefully don't need to change too terribly much. I try to get my first draft to be as polished and as close to the story I want to tell as possible, really cause the first draft is my baby and it's hard for me to edit her once she's done.

Now how long it takes me to get a solid first draft varies. Last completed MS I started on March 3rd. Finished the first draft on June 16th. That was also a short piece of crap, but it's whatever.

Serzen
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Serzen » February 15th, 2010, 1:34 am

Did just shy of 2K in about 18 hours. A new story I've been playing with, and feel happy with. But, most of the time, it depends. I write however many words in one day that I can. Some days it's 1,000 or more, other days I'm lucky to break 100. Once, famously, I wrote two sentences in two weeks; they were the same sentences that I wrote in the first place, but I revised them about 14 bazillion times until they were the sentences that I started out with.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

Bron
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by Bron » February 15th, 2010, 6:14 am

writeitsideways wrote:Wow, I feel so totally inadequate!

A really productive session for me would be 1000 words. Generally, it's more between 400 and 700, although I only work on fiction first thing in the morning, for about 1-1.5 hours. I try not to self-edit too much during the drafting phase, but sometimes I can't help myself. I suppose even though I'm not cranking out a lot of material each day, when I do go back to read, I see there's significantly less re-writing I'll need to do later on.

For those of you who are writing 1500 or 2000+ words a day, are you writing for several hours? Do you need to do a lot of revision in subsequent drafts?

Even with my slower pace, I've calculated my daily word count average and it shouldn't take more than 6 months to get a solid first draft. If you consider spending another 6 months on revisions and editing, it's still a novel in a year. In my mind, that's not too shabby.

Of course, I'd love to be faster, but I don't really have time at the moment.
Writeitsideways, I average around 1000 words an hour in first draft mode, so on a weekend day I'm writing for about 2.5 hours. But yes, as I am finding now, I do need to seriously revise! My theory is that I tend to change events in the story anyway, so I don't want to spend ages polishing a scene only to cut it next time around. But if you don't do that, then spending a while on creating a polished first draft is a good idea.

adtabb
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by adtabb » February 15th, 2010, 7:15 am

I thought I was the only one who could set food in front of me and forget about it while writing. I'll just keep pushing it out of my way (and I seriously should not miss any opportunity to eat).

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JohnB
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Re: Words Per Day

Post by JohnB » February 15th, 2010, 1:50 pm

I write about 600 words an hour, and I usually get to write about an hour a day, so there you go. I must admit I do a fair bit of self-editing as I go, and that's part of the speed issue, but I almost never get to the end and say "this is crap so I'm going to throw it away." So that's pretty much 600 keepers / day. It needs further editing, sure, but I'm not writing stuff that will be thrown out wholesale.

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