Thursday, April 12, 2012

Word Count

Post by Dylan

Over this past week, I did my regular rounds of all my favorite author blogs. When I went to Maria V. Snyder’s blog (I did a book review of one of her books a few months back) I was inspired.

The post I read was not only about her finishing the rough draft of her next novel, a topic very near and dear to my heart currently, but also about word count. On the blog, she posted the past few books she had written, their word count, and her pace. This reminded me of what I do in the summer, which is post a sticky note to keep track of each week’s word count.

Now, to me word count is very important. I feel that you need to try and keep a pace if you are to finish a book. Unfortunately, I have not been able to keep up to that standard recently between school, homework, and athletics (I know, excuses, excuses). Despite my slacking, I decided I would do what Maria had done and post about my own word count for my new manuscript and the previous one I wrote. Be prepared, because witnessing my pace might very well make you feel extremely proud of yourself.

Manuscript #1: Makers of Truth (Jan. 2011 – April 2012)
Roughly 165 writing days
160,463 words (so far).
Max. words in one day: About 3,500 words
Min. words in one day: 0
Average words per day: 972 words per writing day

Manuscript #2: Shadow Trials (Sept.2010 – Dec. 2011)
Roughly 160 writing days
102,180 words
Max. words in one day: About 3,000 words
Min. words in one day: 0
Average words per day: 639 words per writing day

Doing that exercise made me realize how much writing I need to get done. For me, it was an eye opener and makes me want to set more writing time aside each day. I tried to improve my pace between my new and old manuscripts, but quite frankly I still feel a bit unfulfilled. I also realized that while writing may be about the creativity, it is the word count which we use to measure ourselves, and I personally need to step up my game.

How do you feel about word count? If you did this activity, would you feel the same way?

4 comments:

Dean K Miller said...

At times i'll shoot for a word count goal, but only as a guide. There is so much disappointment and solitude in the writing world. A self imposed "judgement", or line in the sand might just be enough to shut things down.

patti.mallett_pp said...

I've been fighting word-count as I begin a new story, even though I LOVE NaNoWriMo for THAT VERY REASON. Go figure. Because I can't. But, you've given me the nudge to at least Keep Track. Thanks for that!! (I was keeping track of time, making sure to put in three hours, and that's good, too. But it doesn't force me to let go of my inner editor in the same way that Word Count does.) I checked out Maria's blog, too, and enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your journey!!

Patricia Stoltey said...

If I could brag about your word count, Dylan, I'd be very proud of myself. However, raising the bar for ourselves is always a good thing. I'm working on that now as well.

Dylan Book Reader said...

Dean: I know exactly what you mean with the added self-imposed judgement of word count. There have been seasons in my writing where I felt that same way. Ultimately, though I think word count goals are a positive thing that keep me going.
Patti: Thank you for reading. I have never tried NaNoWriMo, as I am always smack-dab in the middle of a book, but hopefully this year I can try. I'm glad my post could help you out some. I think the same way, that word count is less of a judgement and more of a goal that keeps me motivated.
Patricia: I agree, I always want to keep raising the bar and pushing myself harder and harder. Also, thank you for the kind compliment.

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