How Much to Write?


Sometimes people wonder how much they need to write each day in order to finish a book each year.

Assume:

* You write six days a week for 50 weeks a year. (300 days.)
* You spend half of your time writing, and half of your time editing (150 writing days).
* You have a target of 90,000 words  - the publishing minimum for scifi/fantasy, but this is really genre specific.

That yields 600 words per day needed.

But of course, there are days you are busy, unmotivated, sick, underproduce, etc. So 1,000 words per day may be a better target.

Some writers believe that they need to overproduce, and then cut it down to size. This situation is not a great place to be. If you need to cut, then you are basically doing wasted work. Better to find a way to not write things you're not going to use.

If you use an outline, even if that outline changes, you will reduce the amount of wasted work you do, simply because you start out with an idea of where you're going.

Similarly, if you ask yourself, as you are writing, what purpose is served by the scene you're writing, then you'll naturally start to focus on the things that have high value, and start to drop out the things that don't have value.

Writing novels is like permaculture. Every scene and every character should serve multiple purposes and work hard to bring the book together.
Post a Comment