Thursday, August 27, 2009

How many words a day?

Okay, writers, time to fess up. How many words on average do you write a day? I've come to the very sad conclusion that I am a slow writer.

Sad because I'd love to be one of those writers who can whip out an epic novel in 2 months. But I'm not. I keep my daily goal low because of that and even then I don't always hit it. However, I like to think that my 4 pages is equal to someone else's 10, because I write pretty clean and fairly close to final draft readiness. Not always, mind you, but often enough that I'm taking credit for it turning out that way.

So tell me, how much do you write on average per day? Do you believe the writers who say they write 30 pages a day? How is that even possible? Or is really down-n-dirty fast draft kind of stuff that needs days of revision? Talk to me!

20 comments:

  1. When I am on schedule, I usually write around 10 pages but lately I've been happy with 1-3. I am building momentum so we'll see if I can do 10+ pages again once things fall into place. :)

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  2. My problem is, I don't work on my WIP every day. When I do, my goal is 1000, and I'm pretty good about meeting it.

    I'm like you - slow, but measured and clean. For me, it's what works best.

    I suppose it's possible for someone to spit that much out (I think Stephen King said in On Writing that he shoots for 2-4,000 a day?)and find quality in it, but it just seems unnatural.

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  3. Oh yay, someone like ME! I'm lucky to hit a thousand words a day. Like you, I can't move on until what's behind me is near publication ready. The last two times I tried to blow through a story took me months to fix. I'd rather get it right the first time through, so I'm back to staying true to my muse--who is out to lunch. A lot.:)

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  4. I'm a solid 2K a day (8 pages) and thrive on hitting that groove!

    But I could easily keep going most days and have often hit that 20 to 25 pages a day mark.

    I've usually plotted out what's happening (roughly) so the pages aren't total crap but they do get lots of luv and editing once I crank 'em out. And that editing is done before I move on.

    I write the new pages beginning at 5 AM and edit those same pages after lunch.

    That's my scoop. Can't wait to see how the rest of you work.

    Great blog BTW!

    Sexy, Sassy, Smart Wishes --- D. D. Scott
    http://www.DDScott.com
    http://twitter.com/ddscottromcom

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  5. I do not write clean and can move forward and polish later. It's the way I prefer to write, because I discover so much when I just write and don't allow the part of my brain that edits to get in the way. I can write 2000 words a day when a story is really booking. My goal is usually between 1000-1500, especially now that I'm homeschooling.

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  6. Kristin,
    Since I work full time, I am happy if I hit 1000 words (4 pages) per day of writing. If I had the day off, I'd strive for more. If I could consistently write 1000 words a day, I'd have a complete draft in three months. Keeping myself consistent (writing every day) is the hard part.

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  7. My daily goal is 1,000 words, but more often than not I do 1,500 - 2,000. I also go back and self-edit before I move on. I'm seriously envious of people who can knock out 3,000 - 5,000 words per day, but I couldn't do that and maintain any kind of quality.

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  8. I believe those 20 page a day writers. It's a writing style. Definitely not mine. I'm a thinker.

    I've talked to writers who write to find their opening chapter, so they crunch through two chapters until they find the real beginning, then toss the two chapters of back story and continue forward.

    I do that sort of exploration in my head, so usually once I hit the end of the scene in my head, I stop. I think I can hold about 8-10 pages in my head before I need thinking time.

    My theory is those 20-30 page writers do their thinking on the page.

    My goal is 2 pages per day, but I have been trying to do 4 to make up for the days I don't write.

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  9. 1K. I'm capable of more but I'm also desperately editing my first novel as I seek an agent.

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  10. I believe people who say they write 30 pages a day, but it's like our reliance on oil as an energy source--neither clean nor sustainable.

    When I'm in the zone (at the end of a book) I can do 3,000 words a day, but at the beginning, it's more like 1200 to 1800, on a good day.

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  11. I'm sloooooooow. I usually write about 1 to 3 pages a day.

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  12. I'm slow but I refer to give a word count due to the fact I'd embarrass myself at the low number! :)

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  13. If I'm focused, I can do about 1K in one hour. during Nano I push to do 2K - 2 hours. I"m really new at all this though, so damned if I know what the heck I'm doing!
    Thus far, I don't self edit, but most of what I write is either actual good stuff, or sometimes (at the start of the story) its alot of info dumping for my own benefit.

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  14. Great question! I don't know how writers do thirty pages a day, and what they look like afterwards.
    When I'm in writing mode and not revising, I try to do 1000 a day. That translates to about an hour and a half of time. I'm not sure if that's slow or not. I just know I"m exhausted afterwards, which makes me think I can't do hours and hours of writing.

    Better to be slow and win the race... :)

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  15. I'm in the editing stages now so not writing like I did earlier this year--but back then I probably tried to do at least 2K a day maybe. NOt everyday though!

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  16. My goal is 1000 words a day when I'm working, 2000 during summer. I know two people who write 15-20 words a day, but then burn out and can't write for weeks.

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  17. I write painfully slow. I'm good for a book a year.

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  18. With a day job, kids, hubs, and my own schooling I squeeze in my writing anywhere I can. Last Monday in class we had time to review notes before a test...I wrote 500+ words on my LAS entry! I maybe got in 1000 words since then up to last night where I had 5 solid hours of peace and quiet to knock out 9 pages (at 3:00 a.m.). I don't think it's the speed at which you write as much as it is the quality of the finished product. And let's face it, you're published so you must be doing something right!

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  19. When I'm focused on writing I can usually do 1500-2000 words a day, but lately not so much. I did 30 pgs in a day once... 5 years ago - before I started homeschooling. I started writing in the morning, and worked all day. I don't think I could do it again if I tried.

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  20. I've done the Nanowrimo for the last three years, and there is a average stats on one of the pages of Nanowritmo it surprised me that I average a thousand words a day. And that is just cruizing speed. I some time write more, over 2 K, when the story is hot.

    Janice~

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