Writing Nowadays–The Writing Goal

Steven Harper PiziksI’m continuing with the daily writing goal.  (I’m still not able to say what the project is, but it’s safe to mention that it’s a book based on a popular TV show.)  The deadline is dreadfully tight, and to finish 80,000 words, I need to write 1,150 words per day until early June.

So far it’s working very well.  I’ve met the daily goal, and then I stop.  It’s great, in fact.  If I really buckle down, the writing takes about two hours, and then I’m done for the day.  I’m seeing that when I have a word count to shoot for, I’m more focused and able to tell the story more briskly.  The only disadvantage is that when I write something I don’t like and should delete, I hesitate.  Those words are lost for today’s count!  But that’s part of the process.

I like this method so much that I’m going to try it with other projects.  I’m already known as a fast writer, but this will speed things up even more.  I’ll be able to write a book in three months easily, then take time with rewrites and finish it in six.  I should point out, however, that the reason for this speed is that I always have an extensive, detailed outline of what’s going to happen, so I never have to stop and figure out a plot point.  So I’m never quite as fast as it looks–I’ve already got the book plotted by the time I start on the actual prose.  My 1,150 words per day method won’t work until I have a synopsis completed, but that’s fine–a synopsis rarely takes me more than a month.

Now it’s back to the book . . .

–Steven Harper Piziks

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Writing Nowadays–The Writing Goal — 3 Comments

  1. I’ve been doing daily word count for years. I used to aim much higher and need all day to do it, because my brain got tired. And then I’d hit blank periods because I’d run out of mental energy.

    Now I aim for 1000 words a day, but more often I hit 1500. By slowing down and working 6 days a week, my mind and my creativity can keep up and the books flow, rewrites are less extensive and finish sooner.

    Keep it up!

  2. I definitely use daily word counts, but I budget an extra 30,000 words into the preferred length because it’s not unusual for me to overwrite by about that much and have to cut, cut, cut. But if I’ve got a tight deadline and am not feeling super-enthusiastic, it’s just crucial to have a daily minimum. I need the motivation of seeing the word count grow every single day. I’ve used everything from 1000 words to 2500 words depending on the tightness of the deadline.

    On the other hand . . . when I try to use a detailed synopsis, I get into *such* trouble. It turns out I needed to revise a lot more heavily the one time I tried to stick to a synopsis when writing the first draft.

  3. Agreed on the “detailed” synopsis. The minute I try to force the text to follow something more than a bare bones skeleton I’m in trouble. Characters pop into the book unannounced, props don’t work, details go from intense and exciting to not worth my time.

    So I plod and let the juices flow. But I plod at a steady and satisfying rate.