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  1. Aaronjosh5
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    Aaronjosh5 New Member

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    How fast do you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Aaronjosh5, Jul 26, 2010.

    I always feel like I'm going so slow when writing. I was wondering whether I'm just paranoid or slow.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Depends. I've hit around 2500 words in an hour (of what I thought was good content), and I've stared at the screen and not typed a single word in an hour :)
     
  3. MissLotty
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    MissLotty Member

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    I know that feeling... sometimes your fingers cant type or write as fast as your brain can think. It's not paranoia - I'd like to think of it as just matter of fact. Im pretty sure a lot of people can't write real fast.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Different people write at different rates. I know I have completely different speeds working on poems, short stories, and novels. The more compact the form, the more attention I put on getting each word, phrase, or sentence just right.

    Fair Warning: If this thread turns into a word count per day competition, as similar threads have, it will be closed.
     
  5. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    When I know what to say, I usually type around 40 wpm. However, when writing my own stories, the process takes a lot longer.

    It goes a bit like this: Imagine a snail going down a flight of irregular stairs. It slowly works it's way across the step, then suddenly, it falls off the current step and onto the next one. When I write, a lot of the time the process is like the snail working it's way across the step; it take a long time and I don't get very far... but then suddenly a burst of inspiration! (This is the snail fallling) and I write away at breakneck speed for just a short while until I land on the ground and have to continue at the slow pace again.

    It's not that I don't know my own story, but that I have to find a way to write it so that others enjoy/take it seriously.

    So, slow and steady wins the race, or in my case, a stair descending snail wins the race... if she doesn't crack before she gets to the bottom.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can only ditto cog's post... and agree with the closing of the thread if it gets to be just another p**sing contest, as these things usually do...
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have writing diarrhea lol I can write thousands of words, but its not always a good thing. I have a huge tendancy to make simple mistakes and it would be better if I slowed down sometimes. Its more work later.

    I have a goal for myself of about 20,000 words a week. Sometimes I manage it in a day, if I don't have the kids (a rare treat), othertimes it takes me two weeks.

    I am much quicker with my novel because I know the story, than I am with a current piece of historical fiction I am getting ready for a short story competition. It needs to be more carefully written and I am outside my comfort zone.

    My husband also writes and he is much slower, doesn't mean his work isn't as good. I do find he is struggling with my speed, but I have always had an ability to just sit down and write.

    What ultimately matters is the work you have at the end. Unless you have a deadline. If we all wrote the same the bookshops would be incredibly boring.
     
  8. constant scribbler
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    constant scribbler Member

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    I am a fast typer but I am very slow when working on a story. It takes a lot of thought and focus to make my ideas make sense and sound good. Only when I get a good brainstorm do I type really fast. Depending on which part of the story I am working on I can go really fast or really slow. Mainly it is really slow.
     
  9. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not paranoia as long as the words are not out to get you.

    Jokes aside, I tend to write very slowly, because I'm so critical of my own work.
     
  10. dogboon
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    dogboon Member

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    I once read that when you want to start writing more prolifically write using the tools that suit you best. Don't feel that you should use a type writer because you want to look like a 'writer' when you always write with a pen. Luckily for me, I always used a pen in the past but since purchasing a lap top a few years ago I found I work far more efficiently typing. It does wonders for my spelling and editing.

    Back to the point, sorry, I find that it depends how attune I am with the piece. For instance. I started earlier today with a new story and it was like trying to walk with broken legs - painful and slow. But since dinner time I hit terminal velocity and now I am in danger of staying up to continue the momentum.

    I love it when I go out the garden to write, force myself to hit the key pads then before I know it I've churned out thousands of words seemingly coherently.
     
  11. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Between 10-120 pages/month. A few pages/hour.

    I'm sort of: write 20 minutes, stop, think 5-10 minutes, write again. Using the brakes to optimise the mp3 list, checking forums etc while thinking.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm awestruck by some of you people. I didn't think it was possible to write 2500 words in an hour. I certainly couldn't do it - at least, if I wanted the words to make sense. I'm not even sure I could speak at the rate of 2500 words an hour! And 20,000 words a day? That's 2500 words per hour for eight whole hours! Incredible.

    If I write 2500 words per day, they usually turn out to be pretty lousy words. I can write about 1500 words per day and maintain a decent level of quality. I care deeply about how my prose sounds when I read it aloud; that's the only way I know I'm getting my rhythms right. So I'm always stopping and reading it aloud and rewriting as I go. Sometimes I record myself reading it and play it back the next day to see if it sounds right. I often find that I'm embarrassed by what I've written when I do that.

    I used to worry about how slowly I wrote. But Stephen King said he used to write about 4000 words per day, but nowadays it's closer to 2000. And he's way more prolific than I ever want to be. Hemingway used to write about 500 to 1000 words per day, and James Joyce wrote even less. I take a certain comfort in knowing that some great writers have written more slowly than I do.
     
  13. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    On a good day, I can do 2500 words in several hours (90 w.p.m. mind you) :)
     
  14. natsuki
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    natsuki Active Member

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    There are days that I write only 200 words, and in others I write 1500.

    I am not a very fast typer, I make a lot of mistakes, and I just use 2 fingers in each hand to type lol
     
  15. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I'm usually happy to get a couple thousand words on a page per day. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I really have no idea how many words per minute I can type. I know I type fast, I just have no clue how fast. :p

    Umm, it really depends. If I've got something in me and it's just pouring out I write/type fast as I can. If I'm pondering about where I want to go next with it or doing a part that takes more finesse then I go slower. Usually when I go fast it's because there is a scene playing out in my mind's eye and I want/need to capture it as quickly as I can then I go back and smooth it out later.

    I tend to prefer typing things instead of writing them because it's easier for me to type fast than write fast. Plus I don't run into the whole issue of my handwriting being so sloppy that I have to take a few minutes to read what I wrote. Lol
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Part of mine is the genre and the, my imagnination is more important than research for facts. Also I had the story in my head for around 14 years before I sat down to write it, if anything I have too much to say.

    With the historical fiction it is slower because I need to research so it takes longer. I am also used to having deadlines for assignments.

    But I could do with being more careful and finding a balance.
     
  18. Aaronjosh5
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    Aaronjosh5 New Member

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    Thank for convincing me that I'm not paranoid. I write because typing is alot harder for me to express my ideas with. Weird.
     
  19. dragonspirit
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    dragonspirit Member

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    Seriously, to be honest I would say don't worry about the speed of writing. I would say your first concern should be the quality, not the speed. I personally couldn't care less how many words I would write in an hour, what I do care about is writing something someone would actually like to read.

    Once you know what to write about, and are in your "zone" as it were, writing goes faster, worry about how fast you write and you will definately notice your speed decreasing.
     
  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, speed doesn't really matter at all. Just write, at whatever pace suits you at the moment, and get the words on paper. The key, in my view, is to write consistently.

    The few times I've hit the high-end of my writing speed have been those rare instances where you almost seem to be an automaton, and the story is telling itself through you. Then I am writing almost as fast as I type and the story is just flowing out.

    Unfortunately, that does not happen often!
     
  21. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    No offence, but this is a silly question.

    How much you write, is how much you write. Never compare word-counts with anyone else. Ever.
    Besides, what would you prefer? 2,000 words a day, and have a novel that is good, or 0-100 words a day, and have a novel that is outstanding?
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is the central issue. Nora Roberts has written over 165 novels - I bet there's a bunch of them she doesn't even remember writing. Dean Koontz has written over 100 novels. These people just churn the stuff out. Is it any good? I read a Dean Koontz book or two way back when and can't remember them at all. I bet Koontz doesn't remember them, either. And I bet that writers like Roberts and Koontz won't be in print ten years after their deaths. Slower writers like Hemingway and Faulkner and D.H. Lawrence, among many others, are still in print fifty years or more after their deaths, because what they wrote has lasting value.

    I'd rather write slowly and produce relatively little, but still be in print long after my death, with my books treasured by future generations, than churn out reams of what will likely end up as nothing more than landfill.

    Of course, I have a ways to go before I even make it to "landfill" stage - I'm not published yet!
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    and then there is Enid Blyton:)
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    speed means nothing... it's only the quality of what you write that counts, not the quantity... even for journalism, when one is on a tight deadline!
     
  25. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    That's very true. I guess that's why I've never really taken note of exactly how much I write in a day. I'm more concerned with content than the amount. I can only guess how much I write at any given time or how fast.

    I've read some of the authors out there that churn out books faster than I can write a blog. They pretty much always lack any kind of real content IMO.
     

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