1. WhiteRider
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    WhiteRider Contributing Member

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    Just writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by WhiteRider, May 10, 2008.

    Hi I love writing (that's why I joined this forum lol) but a lot of times when I sit down to write I know what I want to write but I can't find the words to do it or I'll think but all this stuff in my head then when I go to write to down it doesn't turn out as good as it was in my brain.
    So anyway I usually only get about 400 or 500 words written in a hour which doesn't really seem like much. Other people tell me you should be able to write as fast as you can talk!! Or at least as fast as you can think it up, but not only do I have to think of it I need to make it sound good. Here's where I get in trouble, I'm trying to find I good way to type it out so it flows and I end up not getting much done. Does anyone else have this problem? And does anyone have any suggestions on what to do about it?
    Thanks, any help would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    I use to have this problem, and I know thissoundscrazy, but i came to realize that I was trying too hard. If you're trying tomake things the best they can be, then I would suggest knowing the function of a first draft. Just get your ideas down on paper (or screen), and whatever you do, try not to stop writing. If you need guidance, write a brief plot outline before you start writing, and glance back at it every now and then to stay on track. But most importantly, DO NOT reread / edit what you have already written. The purpose of a first draft is to get your ideas down, not to fancy it up with hard hitting language and imagery. Save that for the second draft, or even the third. You first main goal should be to know where the story is headed, because without that first draft, you essentially have no actual material to work with or improve.
     
  3. Titania
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    Titania Contributing Member

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    I am generally not the sort of person who can "just write" either. I put it down to my perfectionism - I like every word to be perfect, and that's not something that happens quickly (and of course 'perfect' is very subjective). I certainly cannot just sit down and write easily or regularly; it seems to take a specific mood and motivation which can unfortunately be rare. This is in contrast to certain friends of mine, who can sit at a computer and write for hours without any particular prompting. I have tried to expand my horizons on this, doing free-writes or exercises where I force myself to write for 10 mins, but I still have never been able to let, in particular, work on my novel just flow. When I do free-write, it tends to be more of a literary journal style and is almost never an actual story.

    I wouldn't say that I write as fast as I talk by any means (which is not a faculty of my typing ability, because I'm a fast typist, but just a result of finding the right words). In the same sense, however, I do write like I talk, which is oftentimes in fast bursts.

    I do think there are plus sides to each writing style or method - obviously people who can write more easily may produce more volume, but writing more slowly generally means more internal editing occurs on the first draft. Obviously this isn't universal, but sometimes it can come down to quality over quantity. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try to learn to just write; but it does mean that you don't have to push yourself too hard, especially if it is not your thing.

    InPieces has a really good point, and advice which I have heard often... sometimes it is good to just get the ideas down. That's never worked too well for me though (I can't seem to do it). But if you can do it, it is a good way to work. Try not to feel like everything you write is set in stone. You can always edit to make it better :)
     
  4. WhiteRider
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    WhiteRider Contributing Member

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    Thanks both of you I'll try to keep that in mind, and Titania I'm a lot like you, I feel like I need to make what I wrote sound perfect before I move on to the next line. Or sometimes I'll be imagining all the things that will happen later on. Sometimes I write down something and it wouldn't come into the story until later lol.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    don't worry about how fast you write, only about how well you do!

    successful writers' output varies from a little to a lot... there's no magic number, though the standard 'goal' for as long as i can remember [a loooooong, long time!], has been 10 pages per day... but that's for professional writers who do nothing but... when you have a life beyond writing, the goal has to be adjusted according to what else is going on in your life, such as having to keep the day job [which includes being a mommy]!...

    the things you write will 'get done' in their own time... don't try to rush them, or you'll end up with a mess, instead of a marketable piece of work...
     
  6. WhiteRider
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    WhiteRider Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the info, how many words roughly on each page though? LOL like 300 maybe? Wow if I could write that much it would be great, be I want to be nice work. :D
     
  7. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    I have relatively 'normal' handwriting (about the size of 12-point Times New Roman when I write on lined paper). I get 330 words to a page of wide-ruled paper, slightly more on college-ruled. 720 words to the page when I write on computer-sized scrap paper. A typed page of Times New Roman, size 12, single-spaced, is around 500 words. Doubled spaced is about 250.

    Your average published book leaf (or a computer page with 1.5 inch margins, TNR size 12 single-spaced) has about 460 words.

    Yes, I have calculated all of this. Yes, that makes me a geek.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    approx. 250 per computer/typed page in the ms standard 12 pt, double-spaced, 1" margins all around... that makes the old standard that harks back to the typewriter days around 2,500 words per day...

    but that's what pros aim for, as i said... and when you have another 'life' to lead, besides writing, that changes things, doesn't it?
     

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