Monday, February 13, 2012

How To Increase Your Daily Word Count By 8K

Busy, busy, busy. First off, congratulations to anyone who entered Nicola Marsh’s Valentine’s Day pitch for SIX EntangledPublishing editors. There’s a few entries in there I’d love to read so I can’t wait for the results tomorrow.

Also, congratulations to anyone who entered the Harlequin Medical pitch competition! Their wait is a little longer (the 17th) but it’s exciting to think that we could be about to discover the next ScarletWilson or Wendy S.Marcus.

I have a few things on my plate at the moment so I’m cheating with today’s blog post and redirecting you to somewhere equally fabulous. Last year, fantasy author Rachel Aaron blogged about how she increased her word count from 2K to 10K per day. It’s the most detailed post I’ve ever read on an author’s word count productivity, and the best thing is that she tells you how to customize it to work for you. I hope you’ll find it just as helpful as I did.

Here’s a preview:
When I started writing The Spirit War (Eli novel #4), I had a bit of a problem. I had a brand new baby and my life (like ever new mother’s life) was constantly on the verge of shambles. I paid for a sitter four time a week so I could get some writing time, and I guarded these hours like a mama bear guards her cubs – with ferocity and hiker-mauling violence. To keep my schedule and make my deadlines, I needed to write 4000 words during each o these carefully arranged sessions I thought this would be simple. After all, before I quit my job to write full time I’d been writing 2k a day in the three hours before work. Surely with 6 hours of baby free writing time, 4k a day would be nothing…

But (of course), things didn’t work out like that. Every day I’d sit down to add 4000 words to my new manuscript. I was determined, I was experienced, I knew my world. There was no reason I couldn’t get 4k down. But every night when I hauled myself away, my word count had only increased by 2k, the same number of words I’d been getting before I quit my day job.

Needless to say, I felt like a failure. Here I was, a professional writer with three books about to come out, and I couldn’t even beat the writing I’d done before I went pro.  At first I made excuses, this novel was the most complicated of all the Eli books I’d written, I was tired because my son thinks 4am is an awesome time to play, etc, etc. But the truth was there was no excuse. I had to find a way to boost my word count and with months of 2k a day dragging me down, I had to do it fast. So I got scientific. I gathered data and tried experiments, and ultimately ended up boosting my word count to heights far beyond what I thought was possible, and I did it while making my writing better than ever before....

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Perhaps you’re there now. Here’s the link to help you boost your word count by 8K!

Happy writing!



Catherine Coles said...

I may have some baby free time coming up and I'm determined to put the advice in this fab article to good use. Why ... I could write a full book in a week!! Though, seriously, improving productivity would be wonderful.

Thanks for the link, Lacey :-)

Julia Broadbooks said...

Thanks for the link! It's so true that if I really know how a scene is going to go, it's much quicker to write. I think I need to start carrying a notebook around with me for plot ideas that sneak up on me at the grocery store.

Wendy s. Marcus said...

Hi Lacey!
Thanks for the mention! Good luck with your pitch!

I read this article a few weeks ago and plan to put it into practice with my current work in progress. Fingers crossed it works as I left myself with a VERY tight deadline!!!

Sally Clements said...

Golly, I read this blogpost a while ago, and I'm still totally in awe of the productivity...
Great link, Lacey!

Victoria James said...

Wow-great post and link Lacey! Thanks! I'm struggling with daily word count. I'm going to try that advice!

Lacey Devlin said...

Catherine - A book in a week is an exciting idea isn't it? Let me know how you go!

Julia - You're so welcome :) I loved that part of the article too. In fact, I think it was one of the most important bits I took away.

Wendy - You're welcome and thanks so much! I have my fingers crossed for your deadline. I'd love to hear if it works for you.

Lacey Devlin said...

Sally - I love the thought that if one writer can do it we call can. As long as we take the time to work out what makes us most productive.

Victoria - Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad the linked help. All the best with your word count and good luck with your SYTYCW entry!

Kerrin said...

Lacey i read that one too, it's amazing! Now just to sit down and put it into practice... :)

...Serena Akeroyd said...

I read this a few days ago and it's really true; the internet is both a friend and a fiend, on one hand helps you with research in ways you wouldn't believe but then it has a way of sucking your time up like a big black hole lol. Definitely going to rethink my strategy! I can usually write about 7k a day, but this last week, man, only managed 3.6k in two days! aagh!

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