Word count bank

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Emurelda

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Feb 27, 2015
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Being writers we have to write and I find myself slacking a lot because of many, well, distractions. I want to keep an account of my daily writing. Fine I used to use excel to keep track but I still slacked. If I don't post my word count here it means I haven't written ergo I am not working to my fullest as a writer. Doesn't matter if its 50 words or 10,000 words (I wish!). Some of us like to make it public some of us don't it's fine. I just want to be held accountable for my writing career and it is a career.

So far today = 0 word count towards my novel 'Noble Beginnings'.

Here, in this forum is where I feel most motivated so I hope some will join me in sharing their word counts for the day. It'll help us newbies understand what we need to put in, even if it's different for everyone, just gives an idea. Some don't like quantifying their work - coming from a physics/maths brackground I perk up at the thought of lovely numbers, so I understand if many don't partake in this daily exercise. Although i hope you will cheer lead us on :)
 
I know what you mean about counting progress by the word count, but it's what you write that matters more than how much. All the same, it's wonderful to see that a story has grown by several chapters, as editing is time consuming with little to show for one's efforts and it usually reduces the word count!

As we know from The Shining, being prolific doesn't mean you're making sense:

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Yes I agree with quality vs quantity debate but like they say if you don't have anything written in the first place how do you edit. I have my first draft completed. I've probably deleted well over 10,000 words because I am still inching above 30,000 since last year. I keep deleting and rewriting. One will not know it is quality until you know. That might not sound helpful but I am a gut-instinct believer. You will know when it's ready. Mine is not ready. I find walking and thinking about the content helps me develop the story into something I didn't originally set out but it's certainly helping me progress the storyline. Reading is helping me too.

Trying to learn the craft only works if writing has been made...crap or not. After all the first million words we write are said to be manure anyway so might as well get that out the way :D.
 
I have 23 chapters outlined in a YA - MG book. So far, I am trying to limit each chapter to between 2500 and 4500 words each. As Paul says, it's what you write thats important and also is the case for me. I have started the new year with a mighty push on the 'getting it down on paper' process. Also, my writing process is one of

plan the chapter in relation to the Novel plan.
bullet point the main structure of the chapter.
check with previous chapters for consistency.
check the novel plan for future consistency.
chapter draft 1
chapter draft 2

I think, after all of this background work, I am averaging at about 500 'valid' words a day using this process.

I want to have my first draft of the MS finished hopefully at the end of January, so for me, I have to substantially ratchet up on the word count per day. Currently I have 40,000 words written, but probaly have to do another 40,000, so I don't think I will get it done by the end of January, what with other commitments.

But the fun is in the writing :D
 
I only keep track of word count because I need to know it anyway when I sub the book, and my chapters aren't all the same word count. Pages finished means nothing to me because the word count differs from page to page. And I only keep track of my progress at all so I stay on goal and my self-imposed deadlines. :) Each writer has to find what works for them. That's the key, right there. If keeping track of pages or chapters is more motivating to you, or makes more sense to you, then by all means do that. This isn't a one size fits all thing. We each work differently. :)
 
Writing is like mining..you need to crack through a lot of cheap stone to get to the gems. So the probability of having quality writing increases as you increase your word count. I can't imagine any writer able to whittle away quality words on first count. You need the high numbers on page first before the chiselling can begin.
 
One way I found to motivate myself while I'm writing is to reward myself for big word counts. 2000 words is a lot for me in a single day because I'm usually writing at night after work, so I have a system where for every 2000 words I write, I give myself $10 to spend on something. It used to be chocolate, but the writing doesn't help burn those calories so... :) Because the eventual goal is for my writing to make me money, rewarding myself with money makes the payoff worth it. I also give myself $10 for finishing the book, so I average around $50 or so per book. My last book I think I made $80!
 
One way I found to motivate myself while I'm writing is to reward myself for big word counts. 2000 words is a lot for me in a single day because I'm usually writing at night after work, so I have a system where for every 2000 words I write, I give myself $10 to spend on something. It used to be chocolate, but the writing doesn't help burn those calories so... :) Because the eventual goal is for my writing to make me money, rewarding myself with money makes the payoff worth it. I also give myself $10 for finishing the book, so I average around $50 or so per book. My last book I think I made $80!

Nice idea.

Great that you found something that works for you. I think I must be still finding mine. I like the idea of chapter by chapter achievements mentioned as well.

So far tally has come to 100 words. Seriously.

I'm doing a lot of rereading and rewriting as I go along. Am a third of the way now. Hoping to finish one layer of edits for the novel tonight. Then I'll be back and see how I tally ;)

Now for some coffee..it's going to be a long night.
 
Damn, I never thought of paying myself! Brilliant idea. I had a slack day yesterday and only wrote 4 pages, 1,113 words. I had two days of 12 pages and one of 9 recently, so a good run for me. So, how much is that worth??? :D
You really do get those numbers don't ya? Wow, am impressed. Perhaps it gets easier with experience..i'm hoping. Still on my first novel although started second one too a few months ago.
 
Well one novel isn't getting much work on it, those figures refer to the one that really holds my interest at the moment. But I've forgotten what I was going to write this morning.... lol
 
I basically have one goal, write as much as I can. Then it varies hugely, as it depends on inspiration, and a bit of pushing through. Easy enough to do a word count. What's harder is - spelling!! ;)

The editing is taken long to do. In some ways it might be quicker starting again since what i am doing now is applying 9 months of learning attained since i wrote the first draft. It's been steep so lots of virtual rubbing out and tinkering with it. Once i get past the half way point and make the additional exciting changes that are in my head onto screen then i can bulk it up more. I better get on with it hadn't i? :)
 
My last novel poured out of me at an average of 3000 words per day, and I was thrilled with that. But when I'm editing, I count success in how many words I REMOVE or change. And at the moment, I have so many things written and ready to send out, I'm largely focusing on that and trying not to write much (it's so fun to write and such a drag to send out queries...) :)
 
Once I've finished this novel (and maybe the other), I have a LOT of editing to do, which will be my main focus next month - and probably the month after that as well. Editing suxs, but it's highly necessary! ;)
 
I'm mostly editing at the moment (yaaaay, excuses!) but I will join in once I get back to the writing part of writing, my least favourite bit of writing (I'm certain a couple of months ago I hated editing more). Or maybe we could also clock in with what we've edited? Edited two chapters, for example?

Oh, and to my fellow procrastinators (I may have mentioned this in another thread) Cold Turkey is an awesome app. It blocks you from any website you add to it. Yes, I need a computer to block me because I have no restraint when it comes to the YouTube sidebar. There's also one for phones called Focus On that will block you from apps and websites you select if you try to sneak to another device for procrastination.
 
Right now, I'm getting nothing written...I haven't really had time to sit down at my computer after work for almost a week (with the exception of finishing up a really interesting Beta read).

Currently, I'm smack dab in the middle of trying to finish an outline for a Science fiction novel that I already have the first chapter and a half for. After I'm done with that, writing can actually being. I type super fast, so for every day that I get a chance to sit down and write, hitting 3k words is pretty easy. That's also about one chapter in length for me, so when I outline my book, I know roughly how many words are going to be in each chapter and how many days it should take to finish the book. Of course, that doesn't mean anything since I rarely get a chance to write every single day.
 
I've been paying greater attention to the word count of my WIP, as the first novel that I wrote proved to be double the acceptable length of a debut by an unknown author, which is 80,000 words.

After opening with deliberately short chapters, to ease the reader into the story, Chapter 4 was a meaty 3,200 words containing details about the murdered victim, a nudist found on a beach in winter. Since then I've kept an eagle eye on the length of chapters, with an average of 1,500 words. I use the free LibreOffice software to write with, and this has a word count tool which tells me the total of the whole document or a highlighted section.

I've become a huge fan of the section break! Even in relatively short chapters, there are times when several different things are happening that belong together but which occur at a different time, place or even viewpoint. A section break is indicated by five stars running across the page, thus ***** centred and evenly spaced with a line space between each section.

Using this form of punctuation indicates to the reader that although the chapter isn't finished, the can comfortably pause and digest what they've read. A section or scene break isn't as significant an ending as a chapter break, but certainly carries the weight of a transition in the story. I've found that although the section break gives the reader time to rest, it also makes them think of how the different chunks of that chapter connect.
 
I've been paying greater attention to the word count of my WIP, as the first novel that I wrote proved to be double the acceptable length of a debut by an unknown author, which is 80,000 words.

After opening with deliberately short chapters, to ease the reader into the story, Chapter 4 was a meaty 3,200 words containing details about the murdered victim, a nudist found on a beach in winter. Since then I've kept an eagle eye on the length of chapters, with an average of 1,500 words. I use the free LibreOffice software to write with, and this has a word count tool which tells me the total of the whole document or a highlighted section.

I've become a huge fan of the section break! Even in relatively short chapters, there are times when several different things are happening that belong together but which occur at a different time, place or even viewpoint. A section break is indicated by five stars running across the page, thus ***** centred and evenly spaced with a line space between each section.

Using this form of punctuation indicates to the reader that although the chapter isn't finished, the can comfortably pause and digest what they've read. A section or scene break isn't as significant an ending as a chapter break, but certainly carries the weight of a transition in the story. I've found that although the section break gives the reader time to rest, it also makes them think of how the different chunks of that chapter connect.


I am writing my first novel and am aware of the 80K rule. I use google docs as I travel a lot and that has a word count feature for a documnet.

I put the word counts against each chapter in the heading, usually between 2500 and 4500 per chapter, which is going to be about 80K for 20 chapters. (I have 22 planned)
 
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