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Progress Report [Jun. 9th, 2009|03:28 pm]
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

 2500 words today, and right at 600 pages.  More about the recent stuff on the Paksworld blog for those interested.   A minor plot-bomb hit a little after noon, when I was sitting there thinking "I need another 300 words to make 1500 for the day."   Since yesterday, first day really back-on-book, was a 1000 word day, I was going to go easy on myself and try for 1500 today.  

No wonder my hands are sore, as I've also posted here and elsewhere.  Now for non-writing chores for a few hours.


[User Picture]From: moonsinger
2009-06-09 08:39 pm (UTC)
So you set a word limit by day rather than page limit?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-11 05:12 am (UTC)
I used to use a page guide number, but now use words...it's purely a matter of choice, but when books are reckoned up for production, it's done by words. And shorter fiction is sold by the word count, not the page count.

What I did, years ago, was find a number (pages or words) that I could do without too much strain, day after day. It was well below what I *could* do, but high enough to make reasonable output certain. Every writer has a number that works for that writer...for me, 2000 words/day is a solid but not excessive amount. I really can't do 5000-9000, as I could when younger, because my hands swell up like puffer fish and hurt. But 2000 is still comfortably within my physical range, and usually no problem to produce. It's not all equally good, of course. Some days the words sing...other days they plod. That's what revision is for.
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[User Picture]From: moonsinger
2009-06-11 12:02 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. Right now I set an hour limit to work because of the kids, but I like to get 5 pages minimum with everything else that is going on. I also tell myself that I don't get to read anything for pleasure if I don't write. Should I ever be fortunate enough to get deadlines, I will no doubt have higher writing goals, but even though I am making no money, I treat my writing like work.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-11 03:14 pm (UTC)
If you write on the computer, most WP programs have a word count function somewhere. That way you can find out what "five pages"--the way you format them and the way you write--means in terms of words. If you write in longhand, you'll have to do the tedious counting yourself. Some people format their 'work pages' to get the maximum words on a page--with a smaller font, or a font that squeezes more characters on a line (like Times Roman v. Arial or Courier), you get more on a page with the same font size. Or they single-space.

If you're producing 1000 words/day, on average, you're in the ballpark. I suspect you're doing at least that. With standard manuscript format (font, font size, margins, double-spaced, 25 lines per page) 5 pages means at least 200 words/page, usually more like 220 and sometimes (for some writers' styles) 250. So that's 1000+. 1000/day gives you enough "flow" to carry a long story, if long stories are your talent (there are natural short fiction writers and natural long fiction writers--go with what's natural to you, at least at first. That's where you build your own writing tool-kit fastest.) It can also give you drafts of a short-story in a week...a novella in two weeks or more...and a 100,000 word novel draft in 20 weeks. Of course, Stuff Happens. Kid gets sick, other kid catches it, you catch it, the roof falls in, whatever.

But at 1000 words/day, you become theoretically capable of writing a book in a year (allowing the other weeks in the year as "Stuff Happening Time"...always allow that time in your calculations. Those who must do direct care of another family member--whether parent at home with kids or adult child taking care of disabled spouse or parent, or who have a demanding day job--or maybe both--need to allow extra Stuff Happening Time.) It's theoretical because until you've written enough to know what your natural length is, as well as your natural speed, you can't put those together to understand your real productivity. But for a book writer, 1000 words/day is kind of the threshold of production speed. Under that, it's hard to do the book a year publishers want (because of the Stuff Happening factor.)

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[User Picture]From: moonsinger
2009-06-11 11:19 pm (UTC)
I do all my draft writing in Arial as I like the look better. It looks like for one of my first drafts that I averaged just over 262 a page. I've written a lot of words, but I haven't refined a lot of my writing yet. I really need to work on the revision process a lot. My writing production varies a lot from 20 pages a week to over 100 depending on kids and/or mood. Fortunately, we've had nothing like a roof collapse although my son did learn that if you put a roll of toilet paper in a toilet and flush several times that it floods the bathroom.

I don't seem to have the ability to shorten my ideas generally, and I think my natural length of a story is over 100,000 words. I've written some fan fiction short stories, but those stories were for a Live-Action character of mine.
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