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how many pages do you write per day?

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Page counts vary so much according to the font you use and even line spacing or paper size, so I go by word count.

At the moment I'm aiming for 5k a day to get this book finished so I can send it to an editor in the new year, which gives me a couple of weeks to edit and revise what looks to be an 80k manuscript.
 

thethinker42

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I set a goal of 5,000 words every day. The last week or so, I've been falling short for some reason (read: because I've been lazy), but 5,000 a day is my usual.
 

thethinker42

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Sometimes 5000 words would be too much, this can make you compromise on the quality.

That depends entirely on the writer. 5,000 is a very comfortable daily quota for me, and the quality isn't compromised at all. Every has to find their pace...5,000 words a day (with some days over 10,000) is mine. Quantity and quality are not mutually exclusive.
 

kaitie

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Depends on the day for me. Sometimes it's two pages, sometimes it's ten. Sometimes I spend hours fighting over the same half page. I'm capable of writing a whole lot when I have the time and it's all going well, but it just depends on the day and the scene for me. I guess if I had to say an average it would be two thousand words or so? I also don't write every day. I'm a pretty good self-motivator and some days I either just know I can't (time issues and work responsibilities and what not), and some days I might spend the day working out a scene in my head before I write it down. Everyone's different.
 
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Sometimes 5000 words would be too much, this can make you compromise on the quality.
*sigh*

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

No, it does not make me compromise on quality. The ability to write is still there whether I write 500 words a day or 5,000. I'm not going to stop at a few hundred just so other people don't feel bad about the speed at which I write.

Maybe 5k a day would mean a drop in quality for you. For me? I'm just getting into my stride.

And as for Lori - well, she's published two books (both of which I sold for her, thank you) and has another two contracted and 2010 is the year she gets an agent, you see if she doesn't.

Oh, and one of those books to be published next year? She wrote it in eleven days.

Thank you and goodnight.
 

Sevvy

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Chill people, it's not a competition.

I make sure I get at least a 1000 words in a day (so about 4.5 pages) when I'm writing a first draft. If I get more, awesome, if not, oh well. When I'm in the editing phase, I throw all of that sort of stuff out the window and just try to have it done by a certain date.
 

Mara

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I wish I could write 5000 words a day reliably. I'm working up to it, though. Just need more practice at keeping a good flow going without my brain getting tired.
 
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Chill people, it's not a competition.

I make sure I get at least a 1000 words in a day (so about 4.5 pages) when I'm writing a first draft. If I get more, awesome, if not, oh well. When I'm in the editing phase, I throw all of that sort of stuff out the window and just try to have it done by a certain date.
No-one said it was and if I seem a bit touchy about this, please accept my apologies.

And an explanation.

This is far from the first time I've heard the write a lot, fast = you're compromising on quality accusation/argument/whatever. It'll be far from the last, I'll bet too.

There's nothing superhuman about tt42 - or me, when I manage to not get a migraine and keep up the momentum. We just sit...and write. 5k a day is only a couple of hours' work at standard typing speed. One thing I'll never apologise for, though, is writing at this speed and standard. I worked for it.
 

C.M.C.

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Anywhere from zero to infinity, depending on what I feel like. I'm not going to force myself to work on something if I don't feel like it. I'm not that obsessed.
 

NeuroFizz

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Writing is not a race that goes to the swift. Every person will have different life circumstances and different times to devote to writing. Make this one pledge to yourself and see where it gets you.

Every time I sit down to write, I will make progress that moves the story along and gets me closer to completing the project.

Then, shit-can the page count, the word count and any other quantitative measure. Just make progress toward "the end." On some days, it may be just one sentence. On other days, it may be several chapters. It will also include time for editing, re-writing, and even submitting since, for some of us, a completed project is a submitted project. Then ask yourself each day. Did I fulfill my pledge today?

NOTE added in EDIT: As one writes more and more, and gets more comfortable with the basics of the craft, it may make sense to slow the pace a little. I find that I'm much happier with 1,000 words of solid prose than with 2,000 or 3,000 words of hasty crap. For some, the hasty crap method is the best way to get through the first draft, but for those who have been at it for awhile, the first drafts start to look more and more like the final drafts, and all it takes to get more on that tack is to come to the keyboard prepared to write--to think about the upcoming scene before putting fingers to keyboard. Just pre-think about what characters will be in the scene, and what they will do. That kind of preparation can be done while driving home from work or while taking a shower. It could mean less fingerflailing and more clear writing even though the word count may be less in each sitting since the writing may be more deliberate.
 
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Mr Flibble

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There's nothing superhuman about tt42 - or me, when I manage to not get a migraine and keep up the momentum. We just sit...and write.

True and it's great you do. However you so have a lot of time to write ( TT42 I know, as she's often said she sits at the PC all day because her circumstances allow it).

Pity us poor peeps who only have an hour or so to write in ( or even think about the story in). And I can't type that fast anyway lol. Though I do skive at work sometimes and makes lots of scribbled notes....I wrote way more when I was unemployed. But then I had the time.

First draft - I try for between 1000 - 1500 each day that I write ( 5 days a week. I have to talk to the Old Man occasionally or he forgets he's married) It's fast enough for me. If I write any more, that's cool. But if I try for more ( ie beat myself up if I don't) I get burnt out and jittery and....and then I have one of my moments.

So that's my best pace. Or it was until I had to scrap this stupid MS and start again. *le sigh*

Ignore what other people do. Find your own best pace, the one that gives you good progress but doesn't scramble your brain. Stick with that.
 

Ken

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... mark my own productivity by the clock, aiming to get in a certain amount of hours in each week. Been doing this for years and find it a good way to maintain my pace. Never been that talented so I have to put in more time than others at writing. Always did like challenges, so don't mind much.
 

Southpaw

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I have found that the more I write, the more I write. What I mean is that each week my word count goes up. This is due in part to my knuckling down the plot but also because the process flows more easily the more I do it.

I also need to chime in on the 5k discussion. I’ve read wonderful 15 page essay written in a hour and I read crap that is only 400 words. So it’s experience and talent (either innate or learned from practice).
 

barbilarry

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My goal is a 1000 words per day, more if my muse cooperates. I have an outline. With scenes listed to the side with a heading of what the scenes main objective it.For instance this chapter will be somewhere in the 500 word count. With 7 scenes. This helps me to stay focused.
Hugs,
Jane
 

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I aim for 3000 words a day. That's nearly required. Sometimes life doesn't allow it, so no sweat.

Then, I've written for so long I can spit out words pretty fast. I can do that in a couple of hours, and then I don't have to feel guilty about twittering, aw'ing, blogging...
 

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I do it by hours. I write two hours after work, read two hours, then have the rest of the night to do whatever.

Usually within those two hours I can get 3k-4k words in.
 

Collectonian

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On average and just for novels? None *ducks* Honestly, write now I do the bulk of my first round writing for NaNo, then editing and second rounds during the rest of the year, sporadically as heck and usually just on weekends depending on my mood, work load, etc. Now if we include my Wikipedia work and other non-noveling writing (like reviews and blogging), I'd have no idea but would guess 1,000 words or so a day, depending. If I'm heavily working on an article, maybe more, but I don't really have any goal for any day beyond do what I feel like doing.
 

thethinker42

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Writing is not a race that goes to the swift. Every person will have different life circumstances and different times to devote to writing. Make this one pledge to yourself and see where it gets you.

Every time I sit down to write, I will make progress that moves the story along and gets me closer to completing the project.

Then, shit-can the page count, the word count and any other quantitative measure.

I see what you're saying, but at least for me, the tangible goal - a word count quota - is necessary. That's the only way I get anything done. In a way, I'm using my OCD to my advantage: If there's a number hanging over my head, I HAVE to reach it. Period. End of story. Otherwise, I'm very much the type that will find excuses to only write a little bit every day. It's simply something I know about myself, and I've found a way to use it to my advantage rather than a crutch or an excuse. The number keeps me at the computer. The number helps me discipline myself.

That doesn't mean quantity trumps quality. When I tell myself I'm writing 5,000 words today, I'm going to put just as much work into the 500th word as the 5,000th. I don't allow myself to throw words at the page simply to reach a number. I'm just as much of a skilled writer during my first 1,000 of the day and my 3rd, 4th, 5th, or - on days when my mojo is on steroids - 10th.

As one writes more and more, and gets more comfortable with the basics of the craft, it may make sense to slow the pace a little. I find that I'm much happier with 1,000 words of solid prose than with 2,000 or 3,000 words of hasty crap. For some, the hasty crap method is the best way to get through the first draft, but for those who have been at it for awhile, the first drafts start to look more and more like the final drafts, and all it takes to get more on that tack is to come to the keyboard prepared to write--to think about the upcoming scene before putting fingers to keyboard. Just pre-think about what characters will be in the scene, and what they will do. That kind of preparation can be done while driving home from work or while taking a shower. It could mean less fingerflailing and more clear writing even though the word count may be less in each sitting since the writing may be more deliberate.

Again, this all depends on the writer. My first drafts DO look a lot like my final drafts (as my first draft beta reader, SP, will attest). It's not hasty crap, it's just my comfortable speed.

In fact, the more I write, the faster I get AND the better the prose gets. I know how to write...my quota doesn't change that fact.

I totally see what you're saying, I'm just playing devil's advocate and mentioning that writing fast/writing X,000 words a day is not the same as just throwing words at the page for the sake of reaching a quota. The number keeps my butt in the chair...producing quality work is non-negotiable.

I agree that quantity should never trump quality...but for some writers, quantity and quotas are useful.
 

dawinsor

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When I'm writing the first draft, I aim for 1000 words a day, 5 days a week. I can do that steadily, feel like I'm making progress, and keep from making myself crazy.
 
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As one writes more and more, and gets more comfortable with the basics of the craft, it may make sense to slow the pace a little.
I don't think that makes any sense at all.

As I become more comfortable with the basics of the craft, I speed up because less thinking time is required. That's what I call being in the zone or in flow.
I find that I'm much happier with 1,000 words of solid prose than with 2,000 or 3,000 words of hasty crap.
Good. Fine. Me? I'm happy with 2,000 or 3,000 words of solid prose.
For some, the hasty crap method is the best way to get through the first draft, but for those who have been at it for awhile, the first drafts start to look more and more like the final drafts...
See, this I don't get. I've been at it a while and my first drafts look more and more like final drafts, so...why slow down? Why? There's no need. Same speed, better quality, more books. I'm no mathematician but it seems like simple logic to me.
It could mean less fingerflailing and more clear writing even though the word count may be less in each sitting since the writing may be more deliberate.
I don't fingerflail and my word count increases in each sitting since my writing is less deliberate. I see no point in angsting over each word when I already know how good I am. It makes absolutely no sense to me to say, "I am a better writer these days, so I can afford to slow down and write less."

Huh? I enjoy it. I want to do it more. I want to do it faster. And I want to do it better.

And now, I bow out of this thread because I'm tired, tired, tired of feeling like I have to keep justifying my methods.

Note to onlookers - I have the utmost respect for NeuroFizz. Any time I've disagreed with him it's been professional disagreement only and never, ever personal. We're both passionate about writing and can afford to call shenanigans on each other's posts without snark.

But as to why I'm bowing out? Every time this subject comes up on AW, I say, "Well I write such-and-such." tt42 posts along the same lines. We end up justifying our methods with "I have X-number of publishing contracts," or "I've sold X-number of books," or (in my case, today) "I got a full request!"

Our results speak for themselves. We both write quality prose and see no need or reason to slow down. It. Does. Not. Make. Sense. "I enjoy this! I'm good at it! I should do it less to stop other people feeling bad!"

Well, no. Ain't gonna happen. You do what works for you, we do what works for us, and there are no apologies.

I don't accept excuses for why people can't/don't/won't write, and I offer no justification for why I do.
 

NeuroFizz

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To Scarlet and thinker: What I have to say about writing pace may make no sense at all. To you. But I didn't post those comments for people who have found their pace and their comfort zone with their writing craft. I made those comments for those people who see all of the comments posted here about how others are crankin' it out day after day and they think they are not writers unless they are somehow measuring up. Meanwhile, while they are letting their fingers fly through line after line of prose, they may well be running their characters into dead ends, or skimping on the full development of those characters, and they may be running their plots into such deep holes a quagmire would seem a welcome relief. And next thing you know, they find the frustration of mid-book, when their stories start to fray and tangle, and the characters start to wilt, and suddenly, that other shiny, new idea tells them they can escape the decreasing word count from the storystall and get back to 5,000 words a day by just jumping to that new idea where the fingers can just fly across the keyboard again. People who may be experiencing these kinds of issues, in whole or in part, are the target for my comments. A little pondering during the writing process can save a great deal of time in editing. It can save a character from messy personality contradictions, and it can sidestep or fill in developing plot holes for those who can't yet anticipate these things while they are in the composing process. But it goes way beyond that. The word count as end-all, be-all sends the message that the best way to get to "the end" is to hustle, get the lead out, burn the way through the story. For some writers, particularly those who have found their writing comfort zone, that may be fine. But for the many new and developing writers who have not yet pupated, it can lead to any number of writing difficulties. The slow-the-pace idea simply means to take some time to think about what is being written, even if that thinking means 2,000 rather than 3,000 words in a day. If a scene develops in such a way that it puts a new wrinkle in a character's personna, it may be helpful to think about how that new wrinkle will play out for the character and the story. If one really lets the story have its own legs, it may be necessary to stop and take the "chess match" approach of thinking through a few levels of what-ifs from any new development. Taking that time may not only decrease the time needed in later editing, it may avoid some of the pitfalls of character inconguities and plot difficulties that plague inexperienced writers and that can lead to trunking a story or having it bog down in mid-book.

But there is more to the "thinking it through" idea, which is part of the "coming to the keyboard prepared to write" philosophy. And it's a motivational issue. A primary focus on word counts or page counts can take some of the fun out of the writing process, and that fun leads directly to self-motivation. The pleasure of storytelling-in-progress is the process of storybuilding. And nothing is more self-gratifying than to have a scene or a character take an unexpected turn or change. But the fun in that change can easily turn to frustration if it presents an unexpected complication or barrier to either the character development or the story trajectory. This is where the chess match idea comes in. If one takes the time to consider various potential outcomes of the new directions, including changes to the plot itself or to the character him/herself, the real satisfaction comes in anticipating, re-structuring, re-steering the writing. Most people can't do that "on the fly." Some can. And some people have their stories so firmly structured that new twists and turns will not pop up in going from point A to point B. But it's no shame to take the time to think the story through, particularly when something unexpected comes up. I'd be willing to bet that quite a few stalled stories could have benefited from this slowing of the pace to think the new aspects of the story through. And a successful incorporation of a new, unexpected twist provides an incredible sense of storybuilding accomplishment that can dwarf the self-boost that an extra thousand words in that day can give. This is an intellectual endeavor, not a mechanical one. Many of us should consider using our intellects more in the process, to thoroughly enjoy the storybuilding process more than the word count progress. And yes, I know some people can enjoy that process and produce large word counts. And some people need that word count as a motivator. But I'd bet my right nut that approach causes new writers more problems than solutions in terms of finishing their projects and getting them submission ready.

As an analogy, one of the major causes of failure in weight loss programs is the daily weighing approach, where normal daily fluctuations don't align with expectations, or when unrealistic expectations lead to frustrations and failure. People on weight loss programs should shove that bathroom scale into the cabinet and pull it out once a month, or once every other week because the perfectly normal uneveness of daily weight change will mask any steady-but-constant loss that may be occurring over the longer haul. I suspect someone with OCD can be overly successful in weight loss programs, just like someone who can spend five or six hours in the gym five or six days a week. But I suspect those are exceptions and not what will be experienced by the average person. Steady progress is just that. Coupling that steady progress with realistic expectations (for each individual) is necessary to avoid establishing self-defeat when self-motivation is the goal. Back to writing, for some people, taking the time to enjoy the process of storybuilding might take some of the pressure away from aggressive word count goals, it might provide an intellectual lift that feeds directly into self-confidence and self-motivation, and it even might increase efficiency and finishing ability for new writers by lessening the need for major re-writes in the editing process or in avoiding mid-book bogs and character development issues. There is nothing wimpy, less writerly, or less intellectual in taking some time with the storybuilding process. I suspect it would clear up way more problems than it causes. But, of course, one wouldn't be able to brag about their writing successes in thread like this, or for those who are more prolific to try to create envy and admiration.
 
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Albannach

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Ok, I admit it. I'm a spurt writer. I wish I weren't and that I could write 4,000 words a day every day of the year and I don't mean crap. (I don't believe in writing crop. I think that "first draft should be crap" thing is--crap and that you only improve your writing by writing the best that you know how) But I just can't seem to do it. Sure I love to write but I just seem to have to have some time between projects. Of course, I can't compare credits with most of you but I've had more than a few full request so I *think* I don't write total crap. ;)

Anyway, I think there are some of us out there. Once I've had some time between and get into the flow of a new project then I can do that. But every day of the year--man, I wish.

Just another viewpoint and I don't mean to get between your argument so carry on. :)
 

PoppysInARow

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Uh, I'm quite content with my 2 000 - 3 000 words a day. I try to write more, but that's what my circumstance allows. On my days off I can write up to 10 000 words. If I'm being productive. Usually I'm not.

I'm always afraid people will judge me for writing quickly. I try to write every day, and I find as I get better, work harder, and push myself to write more, I tend to make less mistakes. That really doesn't have to do with how fast I write, but just me improving as a writer.
 
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