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  1. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    How long does it take you?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nervous1st, Mar 27, 2009.

    There was a thread around not long ago talking about how much you attempt to write each day but I'm wondering how long it takes you to write. I don’t mean literally how long to write or type, I mean if you wrote a page each day or a thousand words a day, how long on average would that take you.

    I can type over 70 words a minute but I’m at snail’s pace when it comes to writing. I mull over the right words to use and rewrite sentences sometime a dozen times before I move on. Last night I added 250 words to my novel but it took me a couple of hours. I try to just get it written and then comeback to edit later but I have a hard time moving on to the next scene if I’ve left something not quite right.

    I know it’s not a race or a competition and although I’m happy with the couple of paragraphs I added, I would like to see it finished in my lifetime.

    Is this normal or is it just me?
     
  2. Dalouise
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    Dalouise Contributing Member

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    Everyone is different, and for myself, it depends whether or not I am fired up. If I have a project I am passionate about I can write like a demon - a pretty clean first draft in little over two weeks which I did for NaNo - if I get lazy or uninspired or don't know where it's going, it can take two years. That is the case with my first two novels and for some reason the one that took 17 days is far closer to publication! :D
    In recent months I have only managed a 1500 word short story which needs work on but I am flat-lining at the moment, as far as writing goes.
     
  3. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    When I first began writing my first novel, I was getting out around 2000 words a day, with two or three day breaks in between. Then as I became more immersed into the world, I was sometimes writing 5000, finishing off a chapter, and moving onto another one the next day. Now, due to a bout with depression, I am having trouble writing more than 400 words a day, and half of them tend to get rewritten lately.

    I imagine when I get out of this mood and back into my novel, I'll be writing faster again. Strangely enough, I'm actually at the climax of the novel. I'm about to have a bloody werewolf fight and I'm having trouble writing it! Ha!

    Luckily, due to my current self-critical state, I find it easy to pick out places in the current very very rough draft that I could have improved, made longer, or done differently somehow. This is good because I imagine this rough draft will finish at around 70k, but when rewritten, it should be around 100k. In order to get to that point, I need oodles of extra scenes and tidbits and details :) I keep a microsoft word document dedicated to this purpose, and I keep it in a folder with all my chapters and character profiles.

    I like this thread btw. It's often inspiring to see how others work and how much of that work they get done per day. Numbers motivate me (unless they're mathmatical.... *shudder*)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it literally takes me no longer than it takes to type it... and in most cases, i can't type fast enough to keep up with the flow of words from my brain, though i'm a pretty fast typist after all these years...

    but that wouldn't be 'normal' for most beginners... and i've always been a 'natural' writer, from earliest childhood, so it's never been hard for me to put my thoughts/ideas/whatevers into readable words... i know it's not that easy for everyone, so don't use me for an example of what anyone 'should' be able to do, as i'm a kind of freak... ;-)
     
  5. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I'm fully in the 'zone' for writing, I can turn out 600 words an hour, about a page and a half. Often those words will be redrafted before the final printout, and that means my average chapter of 12 or so pages (about 5,000 words) can take about 30 hours to write. Progress is often very slow, but that's mostly because I am a perfectionist. If there is one word I feel is wrong it warrants a redraft.
     
  6. xmollyx
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    xmollyx Member

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    I write about a paragraoh or two per writing session, which is about once a week or so. I'm trying to do more but school stress has gotten to me, unfortunetly. :(
     
  7. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    Im glad others do 5k chapters. I was beginning to think I was being lazy or something, because it seems like most books contain longer chapters.
     
  8. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I tend to write in short bursts of fifteen minutes, in which I'll produce between 250-500 words. Then, I'll get distracted for a bit, come back, and repeat.
     
  9. Addicted2aa
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    Addicted2aa Senior Member

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    I really have no idea. Once I start writing, time just sorta phases out. I'll look up and hours will have gone by, but I won't check to see how much I wrote in that time, or even how long it is.
    If I were to measure though, it would depend on what I was writing. When I'm writing for school or something I don't want to spend much time on, I edit while I type. It will take me longer to get to the end, but I don't have to go back the next day to edit it. If I'm writing a story or an essay I might want others to read, I just write everything down as fast as I can think up the ideas. Then I go back once and edit the grammar. Then I go back again and edit the logic. Then I edit the grammar again. Then I delete and rewrite the whole thing. I'll get the draft done in an hour or two but I'll spend 5 or 6 revising it.
     
  10. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I can do about 2000 words in an hour and a half - or three hours. It varies a lot. When I'm blazing away, I can do 300 words in 10 minutes without a problem. Other times I find myself stumbling over which word to use - a common thing because I am a recovering perfectionist.

    (I say "recovering" because I realized that some of my block was due to being terrified the words weren't "right." Now I'm better about it - have to be, since I deliberately take a lot of writing courses, forcing me to pay attention to deadlines - and don't get quite as stuck when the words aren't perfect.)
     
  11. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    Really? Because five thousand words is sixteen pages, and sixteen pages is pretty long. I've hardly read a book lately that deals out sixteen plus page chapters. Most of the time it's ten to twelve pages. But then there are even shorter ones four to six pages.

    Not sure, but on good days I type one thousand words. Really good days maybe twelve hundred. I've been trying to just add in spurts whenever imagination and work ethic are lacking, meaning maybe a couple hundred words in the morning and a couple hundred in evening. I have a hard time writing in the middle of the day. Has to be early morning or late night.
     
  12. Forgetmenot77
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    Forgetmenot77 Senior Member

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    I was working on a piece a couple of weeks ago and it took me 30 minutes to fill up a page and I was typing it up on open office and I forgot to save it and it got erased. LOL..ahhhhhh. Now I have to rewrite it somehow.
     
  13. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    Everyone writes differently. Keep that in mind.

    Me personally though, it varies so much. Sometimes I can chug out a story in twenty minutes, and I'm talking a short story of six or seven pages on word, double spaced at 12 point font. The short story I just wrote, Kiss Me., took about half an hour because I stopped in the middle due to shaking so much from the excitement of writing it.

    But my novel, Statues, well, I chugged out about a page an a half of new work today, busting into chapter eight with some passion. But lately it's been a little hard to write the story. Still, I push through and edit later, because I really want it to become published, and if we're still in an industry where vampire stories are being published left and right, why not get mine now before the craze fades? -shrugs-

    Some days I don't even write at all. There's just too much in my day to stop and doodle down a paragraph. That, and I procrastinate too much sometimes. >.<
     
  14. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Once I get started it takes me little more than 3 hours to get about 4000 words done-but the thing is I should get started. My main problem is concentrating, and I tend to slack off a bid. I have a major attention-deficit problem and therefore, more often than not end up ignoring work.

    However when it comes to poems/songs I write about 2-3 a day, sepending upon how often I'm inspired.They're short enough to keep me engaged.
     
  15. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I have no consistent amount what-so-ever. If I feel like it, I can get several thousand words in a few hours but if I'm not really into it then I can get in between zero to a hundred or two in the same amount of time. I haven't felt like writing recently so I'm at 0 per day right now. >.<

    It seems pretty normal to me. It's just you. People write at difference paces after all.
     
  16. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    It all depends on the story and how excited I am over it. There will be times where I write nearly twenty pages a day and days where I hardly write twenty words. Laziness has a lot to do with it, as well as school.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can write a 2,000 word short story in a week.
    It may seem like a long time. But I go through a very careful process of rewriting and letting it 'mature' until I am absolutely happy with it; re-reading it several times with each edit and redraft.
     
  18. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    For me, it really depends on what I'm writing. If I'm writing a fictional story, I don't really pay attention to the time- I get immersed in my story and by the time I look up, two or three hours have gone by and I'm sitting there with 20 or so typed pages. Of course, you have to keep in mind that a lot of people replying here have been writing for years (and you said this was your first novel?) so I wouldn't feel intimidated by the large numbers. I know that if I hadn't been writing for years (about 12 now) then I probably couldn't churn out 20 pages a day. I remember in 8th grade I could handwrite about 8 pages in six hours or so, so that seems more realistic for a new novelist (in my opinion).

    Now when it comes to poetry- I can write poems fairly quickly UNLESS it's one I'm going to try to rhyme. Rhyming poetry can take me anywhere from an hour to three days to complete because I'm very nitpicky about how well words rhyme together and making sure the rhyme doesn't come out forced.

    ~Lynn
     
  19. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    It depends on the day and when I first got the idea to write I could do about seven pages a day. Now I honestly dson't write at all. I've been distracted. Before then it really all depends on my mood and the time that I have available.
     
  20. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    It really depends on everything. Usually, I do maybe five sentences per minute, minus distractions. I know, I'm slow. But today, I managed to write a 3800-word chapter in its entirety, simply because I wanted a friend to read it. That's quite a lot for one day in my world.
     
  21. Bongo Mongo
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    Bongo Mongo Member

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    I write about a page or two a night. Roughly 500 words.

    To the people who write 3000+ in one session, do you have a job/school? Because for me at least it seems really hard to do that.
     
  22. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    For me I can write 20 to 28 page chapter in about and hour. Is that slow?
     
  23. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    Nope. Strange life circumstances atm allow me to write to my lil heart's content. I'd much rather be working, but hey, I'm thankful
     
  24. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Crimsonrose, how do you get to your story? I logged into the system and unable to navigate it.
     
  25. Humpty-Dumpty
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    Humpty-Dumpty Member

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    Man, if you're lazy I'm crazy.

    My chapters are often extremely short in the beginning, but that's generally because I'm trying to explain things.

    Prologue (the plummet into dystopian Earth via junkyard) - 2,525 words exactly

    Chapter 1 (which basically is the literal manifestation of the narrator, aptly named 'The Narrator', explaining a few details about the world) - 1,329 words

    Chapter 2 (so far; now that I see some of these posts it'll probably be about 5,000 words :p) - 1,649 words.

    Rage. D:
     

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