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  1. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    Writing pace

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by seta, Jun 19, 2009.

    Last night I had a hard time writing, I felt like I was dragging. However, I wrote about 1900 words in around an hour, so on average my pace was about 30 words per minute.

    I know it's not a race, and I know that it really doesn't matter, but I'm just curious how fast other people write?
     
  2. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    I can't say I know... I sorta phase out when I'm writing, plus it varies even during one sitting. The best I can do is say I write as fast as the action I'm writing... when the pace of the story picks up, I write faster. It's kinda cool 8)

    Nate
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    My fastest ever was about 60000 words in 6 days, for this "novella" idea I had that came from no where. I scrapped the novel afterwards, and I had never gotten anything near that high ever since.

    Usually now I get anywhere from 500 to about 5000 words per session (0.5-3 hours), though usually towards the lower end.
     
  4. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    Yeah, on my longer days, I get about 5000 words in 3 hours... so I guess I'm normal.
     
  5. lovely
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    lovely Member

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    It sort of takes me a while to get going when I start a new project. If I've been working on it for a while, I just sort of go and get several about 500-1000 in an hour. I take a lot of time to think, though. A lot of distractions, too sadly :(
     
  6. Velvet Muse
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    Velvet Muse New Member

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    I've got a sort of Bi-Polar writing pace. One moment I'm bouncing in my chair and drumming on the keyboard, but in a few moments everything melts down. It builds up and falls. Cursed never-ending-cycle-of-doom. So, yeah.

    Velvet Muse
     
  7. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    On some days I can manage up to 3,000 words in an hour. Others I'm barely scraping past a thousand, if that. Recently my average has been 1.5-2k an hour, which is fine for me. As most nights I usually write for a half hour to an hour before I go to sleep in the evenings. Just enough to help me wind down before sleeping, while still helping the story to progress with each day. :)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    though i can turn out words faster than i can type [which is pretty fast], for as long as the words keep coming [at times, 18-20 hrs/day, for weeks], i never count words or minutes...

    i have known famous writers [including bob ludlum, who turned out his novels so fast, he called it 'pancake writing'!] and have never heard any of them bragging about how fast they could write and i don't think it's healthy for aspiring writers to do so... focusing on speed, instead of quality is counterproductive and trying to better the record of others, downright destructive, imo...

    the old established pros' goal of ten pages per day is a good enough one for any serious writer to strive for... anything over that is probably pushing the quality envelope, for all but a rare few...
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I would agree with Maia on this one. I've slowed my writing pace down and somedays I'm lucky, after work, to write three pages. However, those three pages are higher quality then when I would churn out 20 pages a day six months ago.

    Maia is right: speed isn't everything. Ten pages a day is a good number to shoot for but if you end up with less, who cares? Make sure the writing is high quality before worrying about the quantity.
     
  10. TedR
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    TedR New Member

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    At the start of my freshman year of college, I managed to churn out about 21,000 words (about 50 pages) in three days. And in my college days, I managed to write several 3-5 page papers in a very short amount of time, a day or two, usually the day or two before finals began, but I digress.

    I usually vary pretty wildly in pace. Some days, I can write nearly a thousand words. Other days, I barely manage to get a single sentence written.
     
  11. Mephisto0
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    Mephisto0 Member

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    The reason I could never write a novel is because I can't stay sitting at a computer for a long time. I like being active with my dog, motercycle, and other activites. It really depends on your patience. If you're sitting there forcing out words just to make it longer you should take a break, because that can kill a piece of writing.
     
  12. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm thrilled if I get ten GOOD pages written in a day. At that rate, a person could complete a rough manuscript every month or two.
     
  13. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only finish a short story every 2-3 months. That's not all writing-time - research, plotting, character-building and so forth all go into that - but it's still pretty slow. I can't honestly see ten pages a day ever happening beyond a NaNoWriMo-inspired kamikaze assault on the keyboard.
     
  14. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    Pace, smace! Quality always trumps quantity. Churning out 2000 words an hour is meaningless unless it's quality stuff! At any rate, the ten page quota sounds reasonable for any serious writer.
     
  15. Reaver22
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    Reaver22 New Member

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    I write in short bursts so if I set down to write something I put on some blues or something and just phase out and before I know it I have written 5 to 6 pages in maybe 3 to 4 hours, and then I wont write again for a week or so.

    as for time to complete a project, it took me 5 months to write a 87 page short story I put together about 2 years ago. I remember it cause I felt like I wasted so much time writing the worst crap I have written and was also one of the first things I attempted to write.
     
  16. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Anything from 250-2000 words in an hour; usually more like 500-800. Less is more, though. If I only write 300 words, they might be the best in the piece. I'm always so much happier to write something solid, knowing that I won't have to edit or rewrite it later.

    If I were going for quantity (which I don't) I see no reason to push for more than 1000 words in a day. A full novel in 3-4 months should be more than fast enough - unless you really are in a race.
     
  17. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I can type anywhere between 40-85 words a minute, depending on how many times I have to hit the backspace key, which is usually every few words.

    As for my daily writing habits. Well, I aim to write at least 1000 words a day. Some days I blast past that in the first half hour of writing, other days it drags out a few lines here, a few lines there, while I am doing other stuff. Some days I can whip out 5000 words (while working on a novel) in a short amount of time, but that is if I am working on a scene that I have really planned out in my head.

    When a scene is dragging, sometimes I have to look at whether or not it is pertinent to the whole of the story. If it drags for me to write, then it will probably drag for the reader as well.

    I'll often leave the computer on and my doc up while I am cleaning around the house, because that seems to be when I get my best ideas. I'll be vacuuming, or scrubbing the toilet and thinking about where my story is and what happens next and inspiration will strike. Even coming on here will sometimes get the juices flowing.

    For me it's a good day if I've written at least one sentence, a great day if I finish a scene, and amazing if I finish a whole chapter. But it always seems like I hit the 20k-50k word mark and I falter. For some reason between those to word counts I lose my inspiration and end up putting the piece away. I'm hoping my current project doesn't do that, as I have a good feeling about it. But as soon as I talk about it, or show someone the beginning of what I wrote I seem to lose steam. So, this time, I am not talking too much about it. The evil perfectionist inside me tends to get really pessimistic when I reach a certain point.

    I don't think it matters how fast we write, or how often, just that we are writing at all, shows that we have the creativity inside us driving us to write. Write at the pace that seems comfortable for you. If you pound out a whole short story, or a chapter in one day, give yourself a special treat, like a cookie. :) And don't neglect giving yourself a day off here and there to recover your creativity.
     
  18. seta
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    seta Contributing Member

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    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has trouble some days. Sometimes I just don't feel inspired about the section I'm writing.

    But I've found that if I block out all thoughts and immerse myself in the world I'm creating, it will begin to play itself out in my head naturally and I "get in the zone" as it were.
     

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