1. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    How many words per day?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mad_hatter, Aug 13, 2015.

    How many words do you write per day, on average?

    Not necessarily all the time, but during the writing of any given story. Once you’ve started, how many words do you write per day and how does that compare to how many you plan to write?

    I’ve just calculated how many words per day I’ve written on my WIP novel. So far, I’ve written 9,121 words. Thing is, it’s actually taken me 31 days to write that! That’s an average of 294.2 words per day! In fairness to myself, my girlfriend did have a baby a few weeks ago, so I was at home for two weeks, where, if I wasn’t eating, changing nappies or feeding the baby, I was sleeping. Even then, if I subtract those 14 days from the 31, that still only leaves me with an average of 536.5 words per day!

    I had set out to complete the first draft of my novel by the end of the year. With 140 days left, at that rate I can still write another 75,110. Added to my current 9,121, that’d be 84,231. Not bad for a first novel.

    Having said all that, I’ve written 1,600 words today. The trick is writing that number consistently. Stephen King once stated that, at first, he used to force himself to write 1000 words per day. He then upped that to 2000. I could be somewhere there in the middle.

    Still, I’m sure I’ll achieve my goal.

    So how about you? When you’re in writing mode, how many words per day do you write?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    About 2,000 words per week day on my novel, although I'll write another 6-8k of non-fiction at work. At weekends, I can write a good 10,000 words of story.

    I can force myself to write for work because it doesn't require the same kind of creativity that novel writing does. I know that imposing a word limit on myself for my private writing wouldn't work at all; I just can't do it if I'm not in the mode. Perhaps it's the forced writing at work that keeps me in the mode?

    Do you edit as you go? Are your 3-500 words a day all new, or do you sometimes rewrite parts you've already written or go back to proofread? I'm trying to train myself out of editing as I go. I've wasted so much time perfecting a paragraph, only to later delete it because it didn't fit.

    300-500 words is about a whole A4 page of text, depending on how big your font size. That's not bad progress at all for someone with a job and a family!
     
  3. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    500-2000, although I've gone up to 2,500 or higher on some rare occasions.
     
  4. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    I do edit as go, to an extent. I'll proofread, changing bits and pieces if I feel they don't work. I'm not looking for perfection at this stage though.

    My average of 500 words per day is actually probably based more on writing 1500 words on day one, then not writing anything on days 2 and 3. I really need to try and get a bit more consistent! It's not something I'm worried about though. Just asking more out of curiosity really!
     
  5. Jack13star
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    Jack13star Member

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    I try to write 500 - 1000 a day, one fine day I wrote 15,000 words! I was on fire, it was crazy! Then, I didn't write for a month, sooo I suppose it all evens out in the end. I do, however try to edit 3 pages of a manuscript before bed every night because I always want to move forward and its the hardest thing to make time for.
     
  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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  7. spottydotty
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    spottydotty New Member

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    all my writing is done either in small journals on the run or on my old 67 olympia so no auto count for me and too busy to count em out one by one haha but i would have to say a few hundred on a very busy day to 5-10 thousand on a great day. before i had kids and a job it was much more haha
     
  8. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was never very good at math, but I think about -2000.
     
  9. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Hi @mad_hatter, i'm exactly the same as you. Aiming for min 5,000 per week to get the first draft finished by the end of the year. Problem (or it may be a solution) is that I've started a second book (different genre) which I also want to finish by the end of the year so that ups it to approx. 10,000 per week :eek:

    However, I find that flicking between the two stories helps my creative juices flow more easily.

    I was originally editing as I went, took me FOREVER to get through the first chapter because of this. But I finally managed to break the habit and now things are moving along nicely. I still edit a little, but its mostly if I get to a certain point in the writing and then think "Oh, that other paragraph doesn't make sense now", so I go back and change it.
     
  10. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    For me it's more like, how many words per year?

    And the answer is, depends how inspired I get. :)
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think what matters is not how many words other people write, (in the end there's always someone who writes more, faster, better) but rather how many words you can write if you really make it a priority. And I think that's what you have to do. Don't stress about how much other people write or let that make you feel less productive. Only you know what your schedule looks like, what your writing process looks like and so on. But by all means, do set goals for yourself. Start small, and when you realize you can meet these goals, set them a little bit higher each time. That way you'll train yourself to write more/day.
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Zip all yesterday. It was so hot I could barely think. But the other day I managed over 2000 words. I manage a page or two - I don't really figure things out by words more by page, scene or paragraph.
     
  13. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Some days I don't write at the keyboard, but even on those days I am writing. Most often my plot-lines, character traits, etc. are formulated during a walk in the woods or even waiting in line somewhere, etc. So I am writing even when words are not being pounded out on the keyboard and counted. Plus, some days all I do (or half of what I do) is revise--and I often feel very productive about those days. So, in the 3-4 days most weeks when I am producing words it varies from 500-2000. Beyond that increases delete/revision/"what was I thinking?" when I come back to it, so it's not the number of words, but their quality.
     

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