1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    How much do you write per day?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mallory, Dec 20, 2010.

    When working on a novel, how much do you write per day?

    I usually do anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 in a sitting -- if I'm at some type of write-in event, or if I'm hanging out with my laptop and a fellow writer, then I can cram in up to 6,000.

    The thing is, I don't usually write every day because work can be swamping at times. Other times I'll only write a few hundred words.

    It's easy to write a ton when I'm starting out on something, but as I get farther in the novel, it gets harder to press on. It's not that I lose interest but it just ... gets harder...any tips to be productive later in the course of a novel? (I'm 2/3 of the way through with mine).

    Oh and sorry if this is repetitive - I do remember another thread on this by another poster, but it was a really long time ago and it's sunken into the archive pages.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine varies somedays I write about 100-130 if I am editing it maybe less or more deleted than written.

    Most days I write 5-6000 - the other day I wrote 10,000. Completely undisturbed, no kids, hubby feeding me I can plug out over 20,000.

    On a 20 minute writing challenge I can do anything between 99 words and 1200 words depending on my mood, kid statues, stage in the story.
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    My record is about 5000 words in two days, but that's very rare. Usually, I struggle with making some part work, and maybe only 100 words get added in a day.
     
  4. cmcpress
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    cmcpress Senior Member

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    Jeez. It takes me ages to write anything. I could probably do about 2000 in a 2 hour sitting if i was particularly inspired, otherwise we're talking 500 a dayish, when i get chance to write that is.

    5-6000? :O

    I'm very jealous of people who can churn out that volume in that short a space of time.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I also can delete several times that amount somedays so go backwards. Think it is swings and roundabouts - I am obsessed with not having a patched feel to my story so will delete whole chapters so a new concept will work better. Bit OCD about it :) Islander gave me a brilliant idea last night now need to take my story back and introduce it. Also although I write a lot and really fast, I am a super slow editor. I wrote the first completed story of my first novel (YA so only 50K) in a weekend but then have spent over 8 months refining it.

    I had the stories in my head for a long time before I started to write them and most days it is just getting what is in my head out. I just get so excited about what I am doing it is like I can't stop plus my brain gives me the most incredible peace first few days after completing first draft of a story it is almost like a drug I need to get to that point.
     
  6. TerrorOfTheNorth
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    TerrorOfTheNorth New Member

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    I normally write about 500 words a day, my record is about 1700.
     
  7. MetalRenard
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    MetalRenard Member

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    I write anything from 300 to 2000 words (3000's my record) in a sitting but not 'a day'.
    I write once a week.
    On the other hand I spend at least 3 hours a day writing music ^^
     
  8. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Simple answer: not enough.

    Back in my youth (oh, how I hark back!!) I remember once I bashed out 8,000 words in a sitting...that was about 8pm to 3am. I don't really count now, maybe 2,000 a sitting/day? I do a lot of editing and fiddling with existing stuff now, so I don't get a lot of 'raw material' down. For instance the one I'm working on now, I actually wrote fantastic beginning chapters for ages ago, then lost interest. I spent last night copying and pasting and tweaking - watching Word jump from 3,500 to 11,285 was a rather pleasing sight nevertheless! :p
     
  9. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Today I've written 2955 words!
    And now my inspiration is gone... I'll get it up to 3000 at least.
    I try to write as often as I can. I suppose it ranges from 500-5000 words a day. Depending on how inspired I am.
     
  10. write_star
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    write_star Member

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    It totally depends on the day and my muse. Some days, I can write 10,000 words. Some days, none.
     
  11. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not working on a novel now, but when I did I wrote a first draft of around 75,000 words in six months.

    That was whilst working full time, finishing my studies & spending a lot of my free time playing music.

    It's not really about speed necessarily.

    I was just chuffed to get the thing written.

    Then came the editing...
     
  12. natsuki
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    natsuki Active Member

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    ATM I'm writing at least 1,500 a day, except on weekends. Sometimes I can write 3,000, but I need to be a little inspired, and that's rare now.

    The most I ever wrote in one sitting was 5,000 words, but it took me all night.
     
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  13. Jaybrownuk
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    Jaybrownuk Member

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    I can churn out about 500-800 words a day. If I'm really in the mood I can do more.
     
  14. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Man I'm lazy. Usually I say that I'm "writing" every day, but a lot of the time it's typing a sentence and then deleting it, or spending a couple of hours staring at a nice blank page. Depending on how much caffeine I've had, sometimes I can write nonstop for an hour and get quite a few pages, but I don't think that's the healthiest way to go about it. (I wonder if sweet tea is a form of crack?)
    I constantly think about writing, though. I'm always daydreaming about my characters and plot and setting, sometimes even when I'm supposed to be doing work or listening to someone while they talk to me... heh...
     
  15. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I just did a word count on what I wrote the other day after about half a gallon of sweet tea had settled in my system. In between 2am and 4am a couple of days ago, I wrote a little over 1300 words.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    writing shouldn't be a speed contest... and no one should be made to feel lacking if they don't turn out as many pages/words per day as anyone else...

    which is why i don't see any benefit to threads like this and do see harm that can be done to new writers, who may think they're 'no good' if they only turn out 2 pages a day, as opposed to some who can crank out 10...

    those 2 pages could well be vastly superior to any one else's 10... in writing, as in any other art, it's only quality that counts, not quantity!
     
  17. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    No one said it was a contest... and I would hope by the varied responses in this thread that any new writers would learn that some people write a lot, some people write a little, some people go by pages, others by words. Some people find huge word counts inspirational, others dejecting, yes, but if they're writers they won't be deterred very long!

    Quality matters, indisputably. But those 8,000 words I did... only about an eighth of them actually advanced the plot or deepened characterisation. The rest was just rambling, practise and what I thought was time-wasting. If you write 500 words a day... I will bet you money that they make carefully thought about, precisely laid down prose constructed in the most cohesive way possible. If you write ten pages a day, they're more likely to be off-plot, but make a wider picture of what your book's going to be about. There's no right or wrong way of writing, and I think when new writers arrive here that's the first thing they notice we all say, not that quantity is better than quality. :)
     
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  18. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    I'm all over the map. My business (which has nothing to do with writing) is pretty labor intensive during the holiday season, so I've been spending a lot of the past few weeks editing when I get a spare hour or two.

    Once things calm down, I usually get 1 day a week of uninterupted "me" time where I do my best writing-- anywhere from 500- 10k words-- but reguardless of quantity, that's usually when I get my best quality.
     
  19. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    This was never meant to be a contest and I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea from it - no one said that there's anything wrong with only writing a few hundred words or less a day. Noya is right. Whether you write a lot or a little bit each day, there are drawbacks and advantages to each. No one's right or wrong. :)
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    In the past I've averaged between 500 and 1000 words per writing session. It's hard to be sure about this, because I generally start each session by going over the previous session's work, editing it, and often rewriting large chunks of it, before I proceed with new material.

    Once or twice I've hit 2000 words in a session. I can hardly imagine doing 10,000 words in a session - that would be too exhausting, I think, and my prose would be awful. I think trying to write that fast would be a waste of time, because I'd wind up throwing it all away the next day. (Shudder ...)
     
  21. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    Well, for my novel, if I am not totally terrified of forgetting an idea, I don't write it.
    For my short story that I'm working on, I'm not really writing much, but fleshing out the whole plot in my mind. Once I'm done with that, I'll jot it down (or type it, in my case) :]
     
  22. TheDave
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    TheDave Member

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    Quality over quantity. The more I write the slower I go, editing and re-writing as I go. Then I print a fresh hard copy after each session and review that, mark it up in red, start my next day's session with new edits to put in.
    Initially, I was a page-burner, worried so much about churning out pages. Now I am quite pleased to produce a measly five hundred words at a time because they are good. :)
     

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