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72

I can type at about 5K words per hour, but I can't write nearly that fast. I need to think of what's going on. I need to keep some sort of consistency, and I can't remember all the details. I need to do some planning. My creativity seems to burn out somewhere around 5K words each day. Putting words on the computer screen is one thing; knowing which ...


28

In theory this could be possible, but such an author would burn themselves out after a couple of days with such an intense schedule. A novel is more than just 100,000 words thrown together. There needs to be a story and characters. You need to engage the audience, ensure there are no accidental contradictions. This requires planning and revisions and this is ...


25

You are under the misguided assumption that writing is just the act of putting words on paper. The verb itself certainly has that meaning, but when applied to the writing of books, there is also conceptualizing, planning, outlining. Many works of fiction have at least the same number of words in notes and ideas. And then there is the word that I'll only ...


18

this seems to mean that they wouldn't have to spend too much time on revision or editing other than correcting a few minor mistakes here and there You seem to consider revision as error fixing, but fixing the story is another major part of revising. This is unrelated to how someone created the text (dictation, typing, ...) and involves a lot of cut/pasting ...


16

Slow and steady wins the race. Cliché's out the way (although I do think it's true), one of the things I find with writing is that you should always stick to what you're comfortable with, unless you're finding it detrimental to your writing. So, if you're doing 250 words/hour, and feel that's too slow, then I would suggest you set yourself an easy target. ...


16

Just do the math. Although it varies by genre, from about 80,000 to 120,000 (epic fantasy with lots of world-building), 1000 a day means 80 to 120 days. So about three or four months for a first draft. About the time I take myself. Personally, I set aside 90 minutes every morning (my best time to write) to write, and use Orson Scott Card's advice: You don't ...


15

Put it away for a while. Long enough to not have it in mind to the level of daily obsession any more. Then, dig it out and look through it. You may find that magically somebody has replaced all of your rich, description, amazing detailed characterisation, fascinating dialogue and lushly abundant prose with stuff that is a bit thin, doesn't always make sense ...


14

Do you really want to bloat a chapter just to meet an arbitrary quota? Besides that, till you haven't finished the book, you cannot tell how many words a chapter will have. Because you will rearrange, rewrite, and (most important) delete unnecessary stuff. So don't sweat it, start a new chapter, keep writing and drop a quota for chapters. If your story is ...


11

Composition rule #13: Omit needless words. Whereas Strunk was referring to sentence structure, I believe this applies to overall word count. Adding content in a story just to make it bigger is literary bra stuffing. Keep in mind that "Of Mice and Men" is commonly published at around 100 pages and it stands as one of Steinbeck's more potent works. However, ...


10

A standard manuscript page has about 250 words on average. Standard manuscript format is this (or a minor variation): 8.5" x 11" 1" margins top and bottom, left and right. 12 point Courier font. Double spaced. If you have significantly more or fewer than that on average, your document is likely not formatted in the standard manuscript form. Here are a few ...


10

As long as it needs to be to get your points across. There's no formula, saying that your first draft has to cut x% of words. Plan your essay out in advance; identify your points - write your argument to with the word count in mind, then use your draft to tidy it up.


9

There's no hard and fast rule for when to end or start a new chapter. Like word choice or sentence length, it's a matter of feel, of craftsmanship. Still, there ought to be a good reason for beginning and ending a chapter. Given this, being aware of some of the reasons why you might end/start a chapter is helpful. Among the more common reasons for ...


9

I agree with Shan--while the word limit for fantasy is usually more elastic, you are a debut author, and a huge word count is not going to make for an easy sale. That said, a lot of the fantasy submissions I see are not long enough. Paranormal and fantasy novels, nine times out of ten, require more world building and exploration than a shorter novel can ...


9

As other answers have explained, it takes time to devise engaging characters, plots, backgrounds, worlds, &c.  But some genres and styles need more of that than others; and it probably depends upon the length and quality level you're aiming for. The world record for the number of novels written in one year is 23, held by romantic novelist Barbara ...


8

On the one hand a story is a story, putting more words in it doesn't make it more the story it just makes it the story with a bunch of extra verbiage growing over it like ivy up a wall or mould on cheese. On the other, if you have this terrible feeling that the bit of the story you've told is too light or unfinished then maybe it is. The problem is that, ...


8

An easy, highly variable way: Pick up a book that is formatted approximately as you think yours might be. Pick five random pages in the book. Do not involve your eyes in picking the pages. Count the number of words per page, and compute the mean. Divide your word count by that mean. A more reliable way, involving somewhat more work: Pick up a book that is ...


8

Make it as long as the story demands - worst case scenario is if it's too big, it can be split into parts (e.g. A Song of Ice and Fire). There are numerous examples of series with varying book length. Raymond E Feists Riftwar is a good start - Magician is a substantial book by itself, the following two (Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon) noticeably ...


8

What are the sources for these numbers[?] These are "best guess" averages by people familiar with the industry. These numbers are based on rough estimates of what a variety of publishers typically seem to want. [A]re there more I am not aware of[?] Likely. These estimates tend to break down into two dovetailing categories - basic word counts and ...


8

There is no single answer that can be given for this, since books can be typeset in a variety of different ways, and different font faces and sizes will produce a varying number of words per page. However, a generally accepted formatting for manuscripts is double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman, with one-inch page margins. Based on that, it's assumed that ...


8

Very short and incredibly rough estimate: 10.000 words are around 1 hour play time. After some research I've found that the answer is... even more difficult than I had first imagined... First of all some statistics that I have found about the visual novel Fate/Stay Night, one of the longest visual novels and one of the more widely known ones in the ...


7

First of all, you should check and see if they have any guidelines posted that will help you to be certain that you stay within their listed range. If they don't have anything listed, then you could send them an inquiry to try to find out. Generally, the word count would not include the title page, if you have one. Words used in tables or graphs, ...


7

I think I read this in the Sell Your Novel Toolkit, but I may have seen it elsewhere: Retail stores have limited space. Debut authors (except for a very limited few) have very limited shelf space. You might get 3 books on a shelf (300k words of paper). But you're only selling 2 books with 150k words, not 3. So all of a sudden the risk just went up for the ...


7

In a group context such as this I think emulating the behavior of the group is best. Use similar word counts. Detail similar aspects. If the people of the group don't typically describe certain features or characteristics then omit those. Once you get a feel for the group dynamic then you can start to bend the rules. Start small and work from there. Don't ...


6

Even at 50k-70k words, you would still have a pretty short novel in your hands and there is nothing wrong with that. If your novel is 30k words of pure literary bliss, adding anything to it is probably going to be a step backward. If it still needs work, you have to ask yourself whether it's because of the length, because it probably isn't. My best ...


6

55K words is a novella; your teacher is wrong there. 80K to 85K is a good book length. If your story will require two books (or however many), finish them all before shopping the first one to an agent. Explain in the cover letter that it's a completed series. Agents may balk at an open-ended cliffhanger from a novice, but if you say that the two/three/etc. ...


6

Everything else aside, if the writing style you use is going to make the piece exceed the maximum length, then I would change your writing style. The writing style you used to compose this question is succinct but also conveys all necessary information and flows well. It's a remarkably different style from the example that you quoted. I suspect that when ...


6

There are many factors that would affect whether 1000 words a day is realistic for you or not. E.g.: Do you do overtime? How long is your commute to/from work? Can you use the commute time for writing? What else do you have to do other than working? Do you have a spouse? Children? Must you do the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning? How long does ...


5

I've heard this question asked so many times, and never thought it really matters, a chapter is as long as it needs to be to contain what's in it. Then I read "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. The book has ridiculously short chapters. Not all of them are short, though, some have about ten to twenty pages, but some are just half a page long. While I was ...


5

I'm finding all of this very helpful! I just wrote a prologue that ended up right at 500 words, and I wanted to know the same. Another interesting way to find a good chapter length I think, would be to sit down and read a book from the first chapter, for about 5-10 minutes, or however long you wish your chapters to be, and see how many words you have read in ...


5

I write about 350 words an hour and judging from what i've read about famous writers (like Hemingway or Jack london) who typically only write 1,000 words a day while working around 4 hours a day or more, their words rate must be quite slow. fiction is an inefficent business.


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