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Grey Daze: A Lance Underphal Mystery
by Michael Allan Scott


Kindle Edition published 2015-03-29
Bestseller ranking: 167157

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An IAN Book of the Year Finalist and featured on NBC's Daytime Show, the third book in the Lance Underphal Mystery series is part of a new breed of supernatural thrillers which can be read and enjoyed in any order. Based on real events, this is one of those dark, disturbing novels that keeps you turning pages.
 
Download the sample or use the "Look inside" feature for a FREE E-book offer.
 
It's a mystery- Something is wrong. As Lance Underphal pads softly across the cold flagstone, he hears her weeping. She is on her knees, hunched over in the middle of the room, her back to him, facing the dark fireplace. Something is very wrong. Lance wants to rush to her, but can't. In a hoarse whisper, he says, "Callie?" She lets out a mournful wail from deep within as she turns, their infant son in her arms, blue and still. He reels from the blow. How can this be? They don't have a son.
 

Author Topic: 5,000 words per week club.  (Read 4026 times)  

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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5,000 words per week club.
« on: November 02, 2017, 04:20:47 PM »
We went from a 1K word per day club to a 3K per day. What about those of us who just don't want to crank out that much? I understand the concept behind high output, but I do things differently.

When I write the end of the last chapter, it's actually the third draft, since I edit the previous two day's work every weekday, before writing anything new. When it's done, it's ready for beta reading that same day, and is a fairly clean manuscript. Five thousand words a week is a short novel in ten weeks, or a fairly long novel in five months. By working M-F, if I fall behind because of life, I can work weekends to catch up and better schedule cover, editing, and formatting.

I've slowed my output to only two releases this year, in April and August. Next year I'll release two more, in January/February and another in late spring. In 2019, I'll probably release three, since the first release will be in January. I take a full week off for NINC, the Key West Mystery Fest, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring break. Plus, I take 6-8 weeks off in the summer.

So, come on, slowpokes! Speak up! Are you trying to slow down and enjoy life with the income your writing provides?
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Offline Carol (was Dara)

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 04:37:28 PM »
*Raises hand* Another slow(ish) writer here. I do 10k words per week, broken into 2k per day, Mon-Fri. The weekends are for whittling away at piles of dishes and laundry, helping my kids catch up on their homework, untangling snags in my outline, or (if I'm lucky) resting and Netflixing. It's a pace I can comfortably keep up for a long time.

Offline Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 04:39:50 PM »
I just set myself a 500 words a day goal to try to become a more consistent writer, with the goal to write every day since it's only 500 words. I never really sped up though, since my average word count for the last five years has been just over 600 words a day. (Consistent daily writing has just been impossible for me and I've got to find a way to crack that nut.)

:)

I was very close to starting a 500 a day thread when I saw this one. Does 3500 a week count? ;)

Offline Day Leitao

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 04:53:43 PM »
Haha, I read this quickly and thought it was 5k a day.  ???

I was thinking wow, wow, folks are getting insane here. :-\

Then I click on it out of curiosity, and the first post is all about slowing down.  :o

Well, I read it better and I understood. 5k a week is a nice goal, especially for authors who don't write every single day of the week. 

Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 04:54:26 PM »
Me, me, me!!!!!

I write stuff that often requires research, or at least thinking out plots. I am a pantser.

I could crank out thousands of words each day, but the thing is, I wouldn't enjoy it for very long. I left the cubicle world because I hated it. I don't want to do stuff I don't enjoy (heaven knows there is enough tax and financial BS in the life of a self-published writer already, I don't need to add writing-related stuff that I have to force myself to do).

Instead, I focus on making the words I publish better so that my books will sell more for longer (and are evergreen) rather than jumping on the fast-release, trend-chasing treadmill.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 05:03:21 PM »
I'm also a slow writer and prefer to edit previous stuff, especially when I'm trying to work out where my story goes next. My draft 1 is pretty clean as a result, so I think the slower pace works in the long run for me. Besides, I'm too picky to leave something be if I don't like it. I would go nuts just flat out writing a whole book without looking back at anything.

Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 05:35:48 PM »
I'm slow.  I always edit the previous chapter before I write the next one and I don't do this full time.  Even if I did, there is no way I could write 3,000 words a day.  I write 500, stare into a corner or garden for an hour, think of the next plot twist, then write some more.

My hat is off to those who can write fast.  I think it's great!  It's just not for me.

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Offline DmGuay

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 06:27:57 PM »
I aim for 2k words 5 days a week WHEN I'm writing a first draft. That's worked out okay. Those bursts of writing are interspersed with two months here and there of all in revision and editing coupled with print and ebook formatting.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 06:31:08 PM »
Count me in.

With two small children, a lot of my time is devoted to projects, homework, after school activities, chores etc.

Like Wayne, I take summers off, Xmas off, and of course there's Thanksgiving coming up. I write around my family schedule (instead of the other way around).

My goal is 2k a day / 10k a week. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't.



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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 06:37:02 PM »
5000 per week sounds doable. I can't write every day. Other things in life sometimes take my full attention. But a weekly goal? I can do that. So, count me in. When do we start?


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 08:15:07 PM »
I can manage 3000 words a day quite easily if I have it planned out, but the higher my word count the more the quality drops and I have to spend more time on revising. I'm at peace with myself now about not being a fast, clean writer. I can do one or the other but not both, and writing clean is more satisfying and I believe faster in the long run when revisions are taken into account.

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Offline Pandorra

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 08:27:41 PM »
Same, I was gonna yell til I saw week ... lol.. I am already over this count though so I better pass :)  Awesome luck to all of you! It really helps to post your numbers!
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Offline RRodriguez

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 08:28:11 PM »
Yup, slow writer over here. Since this is the first year I've started really getting serious about my writing, I challenged myself to keep track of my monthly output. It would seem I average about 14-16k a month. My lowest month was only 6k and my highest was 33k (though I hope to break that this month with NaNoWriMo!). I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but I try to remind myself that I've already completed two first drafts, am a third of the way through on another, and with NaNo kicking my butt, I'm on my way to getting a good chunk done on a fourth, so I don't think I'm really too bad. Since I work full-time and I almost never have time to write on the weekends, I just have to constantly remember that I need to go at my own pace and to do my personal best.
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Offline Sam Kates

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 01:32:45 AM »
I'm doing around 5k a week at the moment. I've recently gone part-time in my mind-numbing regular job which has freed up two or three days each week to write. What a luxury that feels. But I also need to get to grips with marketing so am using some of that freed-up time for that. So writing 5k words is a good, manageable number for me right now.
    
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Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 04:12:31 AM »
My critique group keeps me on the straight and narrow- so I generally manage 3,000 words (one chapter) a week. It's by no means final copy, since I generally don't know what's going to happen until it does- and if I tried to fix the previously written stuff right away I'd lose all forward momentum. It's also historical- and usually rather obscure, not easily discovered history as well, so lots of research necessary. The upshot is I think I might still manage to publish the first in the series this year. Maybe. I had the initial idea for what's now the last book in the series back in about 1980. First draft of that was written in 2005 for my first NaNoWriMo. Then I did a 'prequel' in 2010. Since then I've done two more. The one I'm working on now is set in Morocco, circa 1776. Selling would be nice, but the main thing is I get to spend time with my characters, exploring the world that became ours.

Offline T. M. Bilderback

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 04:44:09 AM »
I used to be able to crank out around 2000 words a day. I still can, I just don't. I prefer to take my time.

I discovered that, after a while of that, I have to rest a bit. I've slowed down considerably. I only had four releases this year. I had hoped to have five, but it doesn't look like it will happen. I probably will do what I did since 2015 - write a few stories, then release them over a period of time. I enjoy doing that, rather than put pressure on myself to "release, release, release".

Of course, every author has their own comfortable way of writing, and that's great!

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Offline CopperDog

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 05:52:38 AM »
I'm up for this. Needing a bit of cattle prod at the moment to recapture motivation and this may be it. Posting word counts weekly?

Offline wilsonharp

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 06:00:20 AM »
Had to go back to full time employment because of life issues, so I am trying to get back to 500 words a day on weekdays and another couple of thousand on the weekends. So 5,000 a week sounds reasonable to me at this point. Been over a year and a half since I put a book out and I'm almost done with the next one, but before I can get back to a three or four book a year schedule, I have to get back into the routine of daily writing, so this is the goals I have set.
     

Offline AliceS

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 06:27:46 AM »
This is where I am. I hope for 5000, but it varies. I write a quick and dirty first draft that is sort of a hefty outline, usually about 40,000.  I call it the bones of the story. Sometimes I can fly through that and sometimes it's quicksand. Putting meat on the bones is always easier. While the current story is out to readers, etc, I start on the next, usually in a different series.

This spring I hit a wall. Serious brain fog made writing pointless because anything I put out was crap. I think I scheduled myself into mental exhaustion. I took some time off and came back to it with a much better outlook. I need to schedule in some time off so that I don't feel guilty not putting in my quota every day.


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 06:53:13 AM »
I wish I could manage more than 5k words a week, but that's around what I average.

With a full-time job and a growing baby boy, I just don't have the time to write any more than that.

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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2017, 08:20:50 AM »
Yeah, this is probably me. Even if I turn off all distractions, I still spend a lot of time staring out the window rearranging the plot in my brain, or pacing. I pace a lot trying to figure out my stories.


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Offline Stacy Claflin

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2017, 08:39:15 AM »
I too thought the title of this post was 5k a day! Even though my goal is 15k a week, I'm curious about Wayne's editing process. The second draft drives me nuts. Breaking it up and being ready to send my drafts to betas immediately sounds wonderful!

Best of luck to all of you 5k a weekers! I think that was about my goal when I was working full time, and it was enough to get me to the point of becoming a full-time writer.


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Offline Chrissy

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2017, 09:00:07 AM »
I too thought the title of this post was 5k a day! Even though my goal is 15k a week, I'm curious about Wayne's editing process. The second draft drives me nuts. Breaking it up and being ready to send my drafts to betas immediately sounds wonderful!

Best of luck to all of you 5k a weekers! I think that was about my goal when I was working full time, and it was enough to get me to the point of becoming a full-time writer.

He described his process here on his blog:

http://waynestinnett.blogspot.com/2015/01/self-editing-for-dummies-like-me.html

Offline Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2017, 09:10:59 AM »
I don't have any excuses for why I need a 500 a day goal. I just can't seem to get my brain to put out story any faster than what it does. After 5 years of this (4+ years writing for a living), I've just about given up trying to write faster.

Sometimes it helps me to write more than one story at a time but that usually wears me down pretty quickly. After a week, I'm done and don't end up writing much else for a while. I get brain fatigue remarkably fast when it comes to writing and making stuff up. :o

I was a much better employee than I am a writer, lol. I was one of those people that came in, got right to work, and got things done. I had focus and I was highly productive. I'm just not that person when it comes to writing and I can't really figure out why.

I'd really rather be writing a steady 1000-2000 a day because I really think that's entirely doable while still having plenty of time for a leisurely life, but I can't seem to get there. Ah well. I'll just hang with other slow writers and enjoy the life I've got!

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Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2017, 07:18:46 PM »
It's Friday, and I started the week almost 700 words (less than a day) ahead of schedule. How many of you schedule ahead? I'm a little OCD when it comes to scheduling. I have all of 2018 scheduled, including time off and realistic goals. Doing this, I can consistently schedule my beta readers, editor, proofreader, formatter, and cover designer well in advance. Far enough that I know I won't have to wait, because they have something booked. Here's what my schedule looks like. Note, that as of today, I'm more than 3000 words (three full days) ahead of schedule. The weather is supposed to be nice through next Wednesday and believe me, boat ramps are far less crowded on weekdays. So, I'm taking Monday and perhaps Tuesday off and getting some salty time.





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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2017, 08:18:11 PM »
No. Zero scheduling here.

I have only one rule and that is that I want to work on my main manuscript every day. Just open the file and do something. Nothing about word count.

I usually do a sketch draft with dictation while going on morning walks and end up with a 30k manuscript that is a pile of yourknowhatsit but that I knock into shape and bring up to 80k. By that time, I've figured out the main elements of the story.

When the first draft is almost done, I email my developmental editor and tell her that the book is 2-3 weeks away and that when I've passed it to her she has until a specified time to work on it. At this timer, I've already started writing something else. The editorial process then goes from there and takes however long it takes, usually about 2 months. It goes to a line editor and then proofreading and formatting. If I'm not doing the cover myself, I will have the cover long before the book goes to the developmental editor, often even before I start writing.

So basically I made my pipeline much longer, which also gives me the freedom to hold off on a new release if for example I get a Bookbub and I don't need two boosts in the same month.

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2017, 07:21:51 PM »
All week, the words flowed. All week, sales slowed. The cool thing about working slow and scheduling days off, holidays, and vacations is that it's simple math when you suddenly realize the downward trend of the graph is going to get too low before the next release. That was my realization on Monday. The early February release needed to be moved up at least four weeks. Fortunately, I was already more than a week ahead of schedule. Early January needed to be the new release date. But, I've never done a post-Christmas release.

So, I picked a day on the projected downward graph and did some math. If I worked through the next four weekends and only took one day off for Thanksgiving, I could send the manuscript to beta readers as early as December 8th. If my providers could adjust their schedules to accommodate me, my next book could be published five weeks early, right after Christmas. I have a great team. They had or made openings. When you schedule in advance it makes it easier on them.

The new release date is December 28th. To reach that, I need a thousand words a day every day until the 8th. That'll put me at 70K words, which is always my target. This will give my beta readers, editor, proofreader, and formatter three weeks, which is what is usually allotted.

On Monday, I changed my schedule. Today, I'm already more than a day ahead of the new schedule. By tomorrow, I'll be two days ahead. I can still take a couple days off and feast. My boss tells me that if I get this done by the 8th, I can take the rest of the month off. I'm sure he'll find something else for me to do, though. ;)
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Offline CopperDog

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2017, 06:18:16 AM »
As something of a numbers geek in another life, now trying to focus on words, I am always fascinated by posts like these that talk about the logistics of publishing. Thanks for another lesson, Wayne!

Was waiting for this thread to pop back up. I wrote and edited my 5000 this week, plus 2100 more. This is a second one in a series of five or six. Trying to get enough ahead to publish start publishing monthly in 2018.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2017, 07:06:18 AM »
Wayne, I love your production schedule.

Mine isn't nearly as detailed nor is it pretty. I love Excel and use it for many things, but for writing my "rough" schedule, I just use a piece of printer paper, folded into 12 squares. I give myself two months to complete each book, scheduling in summer breaks etc.

I started out the week very strong, with 2600 words in one day. Then it petered out. Friday was a bust--the kids were home for Veteran's day. By the way, Wayne, thank you for your service.

Weekly total: 8149
I'm about halfway through my novel and hope to have it published by the end of December.

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Offline Don Rich

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2017, 07:25:12 AM »
About this group, will there be meetings?
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Offline William Peter Grasso

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2017, 07:38:52 AM »
I'm with Wayne on how about mixing a little life in the vibe...
Or rather than mixing, forcing is often a better term to describe life's effect on the daily writing routine.
Actually, 5K a week is a pretty comfortable goal, even taking the normal upheavals of daily living into account. I find it's really no big deal to produce 1K a day, even 1.5K when on a roll and the characters push you aside and start writing it by themselves. After that amount, though, I find myself going a little rubbery upstairs. I could keep writing...but after a refreshing night's sleep, most of that excess will be in the trash first thing the next day.
Mix in a few of life's unrelenting demands and you get those days when you're lucky to add 200 words to your draft. So yeah...count me in to the 5K a week club.
BTW, who was the clever person who said, Stop a writing day at a point where you'd want to keep going?
WPG
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 07:42:31 AM by William Peter Grasso »

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Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2017, 08:30:23 AM »
Great scene from a really under rated movie, Don.

Welcome aboard, William. Mixing or forcing, is fine. I prefer allowing. Life things come up. And usually they rear their heads at the wrong time. I build in the time, to allow for those life moments. Last week, my landscaper showed up unannounced, with two tons of sand. I had to stop what I was writing, and go outside and remove about 50 pavers that had settled when heavy rains washed the sand off my backyard "beach" area. No big deal. I went out and took care of that life moment, the same as if my wife came into my office and asks me if I want to go for a walk. Because I have life built into my day, the answer is almost always yes.

Like you, I usually hit a bit higher than 1K words and if no life events pop up, I can take an extra day for myself now and then. Or, like this week, have the flexibility to move the schedule up a whole month, and kick it into overdrive to avoid having to tighten the budget.

We're each the skipper of our own vessels. If I run aground, I have only myself to blame. So, I plot a course to avoid the shallows and allow a little more depth under the keel just in case a foul wind blows.

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Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2017, 08:33:48 AM »
BTW, who was the clever person who said, Stop a writing day at a point where you'd want to keep going?

Stephen King?
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2017, 09:16:11 AM »
I wrote a little over 4000 new words this week. I also finished big sections of major re-writes. So, I'm counting this as 'goal met' even though I think it technically should be only the new words that count.


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »
Stephen King?
Hmm...could be.
Maybe it was the same person who said, "You never really finish a piece of writing. You just stop working on it."

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2017, 12:37:03 PM »
I wrote a little over 4000 new words this week. I also finished big sections of major re-writes. So, I'm counting this as 'goal met' even though I think it technically should be only the new words that count.

I count anything over and above the previous week's word count as new words. Usually, in editing the previous two days' work before starting new, I'll add a couple hundred words, to expand some vague idea or something. I record weekly goals and weekly achievements on a spreadsheet to check my productivity.

My revised schedule, still quite doable at a comfortable 1K words per day with no days off. But a few words over that 1K is normal, so i'll get a day off here and there. After Decemeber 8th, I'll return to 5K per week.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2017, 02:37:48 PM »
You are one very systematic man, Wayne Stinnet  :)

For now I'd just like to not get kicked out of the 5,000 words per week club, never mind making a chart and sticking to it.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2017, 06:59:46 AM »
when on a roll and the characters push you aside and start writing it by themselves

I prefer to let them do the thinking. They're better at it than I am, and they've surprised me on more than one occasion.

Totally agree on GPB, Wayne. More classic one liners in that movie than most new ones! So, since I'm out of ammo (yeah, right), I'm in on this 5k thing. Just glad that you meant words and not running.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2017, 10:01:29 AM »
I've managed my 500 words a day every day since I posted in this thread. I'm pleased. Mon-Sun I wrote 5,866 words.

If I had set out to write 1000 words a day 5 days a week, I have a feeling I would have failed, if only because I've tried it before and it didn't work.

Something about the lower word count (but doing it every day) has been very motivating and much less stressful. :)

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2017, 10:34:17 AM »
Ever since getting a real job (groan, lol) my word count has gone from 2-3k per day to 1-2k per day. I think it's more realistic for me to stick with this thread other than the previous 3k one (bye, my friends!). Unfortunately, I've had to split my writing to a bit in the morning and a bit at night but hey, it's better than nothing. I've been hitting 500-1000 words for the past week because I've also been sick. I like the idea of not stressing. Thank you, Mr. Stinnett, for starting this thread!
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Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2017, 12:04:38 PM »
When writing, I generate about 1K a day, but revising always kills my speed. I've been clicking along at 20k per month since June, even with revisions, but the last month as been a little under that.

This time around, I'm trying a new process. I've been writing my WIP in 20k chunks, with a goal of once chunk per month, but revising chunks 6-8 required that I know the end of Chunk 8, so I had to write forward a bit, writing out 50k from mid-September to now. Chunks 5&6 are 3-4k short of my word count goals, but chunks 7&8 are short by 10k words, mostly because I wrote too compactly because I was racing to find out what happened.

20k per month is very comfortable for me.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 12:08:52 PM by Douglas Milewski »

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2017, 01:11:24 PM »
I was thrilled...until I saw the extra zero. But I'm not about to join the 500 words-per-week club, so maybe I'll hang out here while I'm thinking about the next word to put in the sentence I'm working on.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2017, 01:43:53 PM »
I count anything over and above the previous week's word count as new words. Usually, in editing the previous two days' work before starting new, I'll add a couple hundred words, to expand some vague idea or something. I record weekly goals and weekly achievements on a spreadsheet to check my productivity.

My revised schedule, still quite doable at a comfortable 1K words per day with no days off. But a few words over that 1K is normal, so i'll get a day off here and there. After Decemeber 8th, I'll return to 5K per week.



Thanks for sharing some of your process and schedule. Seriously, it's a terrific service for newbies like myself.
I read that Izzy Shows is a big spreadsheet user too.
Guess I'll be loading up Apple Numbers.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2017, 10:53:07 PM »
BTW, who was the clever person who said, Stop a writing day at a point where you'd want to keep going?
WPG

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2017, 06:42:57 AM »
Thanks for sharing some of your process and schedule. Seriously, it's a terrific service for newbies like myself.
I read that Izzy Shows is a big spreadsheet user too.
Guess I'll be loading up Apple Numbers.

It doesn't have to be a spreadsheet, any kind of document will work, even a notepad and pencil. The important thing is that you plan. Set small, easily achievable goals, like 5K words per week. Include days off that you know your'e not going to get anything done. Is anyone in the 5K per day club planning to write 5000 words on Christmas Day? But, by planning 5K per week, writing 1000 words per day on weekdays is easy. For Christmas week, 1250 words per day for four days yields the same result. Transversely, if you get a little ahead during a regular week, you can give yourself a three-day weekend now and then.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2017, 06:35:51 AM »
Life always throws curve balls at you, so it's best to plan for time lost dealing with "stuff."

This week: 8009 words. I was shooting for 10k because of Thanksgiving next week and then family "stuff" the week after.


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2017, 07:59:01 AM »
I was wondering how this week would go. It's been a very busy week, out-of-town doctor appointment, lunch with two local writers (two separate days), NINC board meeting, physical therapy two days, tree removal, just a lot going on. The busiest day was Wednesday. I didn't even start writing until 7pm. But, I had a little time each day and I'm less than 1000 words from my goal. I'll write a little today and tomorrow and should be a little ahead, come Monday.

Yes, Diana, life does throw curve balls. But, most really are predictable. If the check engine light in the car has been coming on a lot lately, and you haven't found the time to take the car to the shop, odds are that it will leave you on the side of the road at a most inopportune time. That's not a curve ball. The car has been signaling its intention to throw this curve for some time.

Scheduling time off is just as important, perhaps more so, than scheduling the work. With just one day off scheduled on Sunday, when the check engine light comes on, on a Tuesday, you can take it right to the shop, comfortable in the knowledge that what you're not going to get done on Tuesday, you can make up on Sunday.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2017, 12:42:58 PM »
...life does throw curve balls. But, most really are predictable. If the check engine light in the car has been coming on a lot lately, and you haven't found the time to take the car to the shop, odds are that it will leave you on the side of the road at a most inopportune time. That's not a curve ball. The car has been signaling its intention to throw this curve for some time.

Scheduling time off is just as important, perhaps more so, than scheduling the work. With just one day off scheduled on Sunday, when the check engine light comes on, on a Tuesday, you can take it right to the shop, comfortable in the knowledge that what you're not going to get done on Tuesday, you can make up on Sunday.
This is solid advice. I fell short in my second week since joining 5000 Words Per Week. Then I read your message, and it hit me square between the eyes (more like the space between my ears). While I did miss goal, the plus side is I did prepare a spread sheet to keep me accountable to myself. I also plan to continue to report (confess?) in this thread.


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2017, 01:42:51 PM »
Thanks for sharing your schedule and process, Wayne! I've been trying to write like a fiend, but lately I've realized that I'm a lot more productive when I scale down my writing schedule and allow myself more time to do other things for balance.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2017, 02:02:23 PM »
I'm doing NaNo this month and once past about 25k I usually start sailing. But I can't do it every month, and some winter months I can't write at all. Wish I could know how much I can write in a year but progress is always bumpy.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2017, 07:44:56 PM »
By working through the weekend, I added 8662 words to Rising Fury, putting me 2066 words ahead of schedule. That's two whole days. I'll give myself Thanksgiving off, as planned, and maybe Friday, as well. The story's coming together nicely, it's now over 54K words, so officially a novel. And I have a pretty good idea of the ending, with basic outlines for the last five chapters. It's downhill now.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2017, 05:20:58 AM »
I'm doing NaNo this month and once past about 25k I usually start sailing. But I can't do it every month, and some winter months I can't write at all. Wish I could know how much I can write in a year but progress is always bumpy.

If you have Excel, create a simple spreadsheet with the date and daily WC. I do this and graph it. It's amazing to see a visual representation of how I write. I can see patterns: When I take time off, that my Daily WC is improving etc.

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Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2017, 05:51:48 AM »
My story chunk was 8k behind on Saturday morning. As of this morning's revision, I'm only 2k behind. I'm ahead of schedule going into Thanksgiving. (My daughter is also demanding the next chunk. That's the problem when you live with your biggest fan.)

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2017, 02:55:14 PM »
I managed to stay on schedule through Thanksgiving, even though we had family in from out of town. Fortunately, late nights don't affect me much, so I was able to wake early and get a couple of short sprints in to maintain the schedule. After eleven weeks of writing, I ended this past week with a total of 57,124 words, with a goal of 57,000 even. I've padded that yesterday and today with a little over 1000 words each day. I now have twelve days to write 10,000 words to finish the manuscript at 70,000 and get it to my beta readers.

On a side note, I was approved for a BookBub promotion of the first book in my spinoff series, scheduled for Christmas Eve. My release date for this new book (#12 in the original series) is December 28th, and I'll discount the first book in the main series for the same time span, December 23-27. This will bring the first book in both series up into the top 1000 on release day, and the new release should reach the top 100, adding more fuel to the fire.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #55 on: November 29, 2017, 12:33:59 AM »
It depends on my mood. I get a burst of energy and inspiration and have done 10k in one day before. Other times I do 1000k a day and am perfectly happy with that. I have even done as little as 500 words a day when life gets in the way. It seems like my releases have longer tails now that we have AMS ads, so I don't worry as much about churning. I started a new pen name last year and only released 3 novels under it, the last release being three months ago and I still get sales and borrows. Of course, I'd make more if I wrote faster, so there's that.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2017, 05:13:40 AM »
Quote
We're each the skipper of our own vessels. If I run aground, I have only myself to blame. So, I plot a course to avoid the shallows and allow a little more depth under the keel just in case a foul wind blows.

I need this tattooed on my forehead, for when I get down on myself for not writing at times. I've been sick, and with an issue with my Type II at the same time, it's been really hard to accept that I probably just don't have the brain power to write. I'm not one of those people who can say "I get my eleventy-billion words every day, no matter what!", and I doubt at this point that would ever happen.

I do try to stick to a schedule I came up with that allowed me to only need to write five days a week. I took Wednesdays off, because that's shopping day, and I could float the other day depending on what was going on. I've fallen down on that spectacularly this month. I shouldn't have ever committed to doing NaNo. I always freeze up when I set goals and deadlines like that. Even if I hadn't gotten sick, I likely wouldn't have made it, because self-sabotage. And the worse thing is, the less I do, the more I feel like I'm a fake, I don't want it badly enough, blah blah.

Anyway, enough pity party for the day. I'm going to try this 5K a week thing, see if I can get myself back in the saddle so I can ride this horse, rather than beat it to death. Thanks for posting this, Wayne.
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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2017, 06:15:02 AM »
Wednesday to Wednesday, 7,000 words. WIP now stands at 72k. My goal is 80k.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2017, 06:23:08 AM »
I did my 50k in November for NaNo; that makes my weekly average 12.5k. No way can I keep that up as the days grow shorter. This novel was meant to be 50k, so it's done, but it's a very rough first draft because of the time deadline involved.


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2017, 06:56:15 AM »
I'm vying hard to join this club, but as of yet it eludes me. :D

If I count days that I've written, I'm averaging 600 words a day, but if I count the total against all the days in the calendar, I'm averaging 260.  :(

On the other hand, it took me two years to write the first novel, and if I continue at this pace, it'll only take one year to finish...

Weirdly enough, I've only increased my average very slightly compared to the first one, maybe only an extra 20 words a day, and when I tally it up, I'm still averaging having written on only 40% of the days in each respective time period.  ::) The only concrete difference is I no longer have to completely redraft so many chapters like I did in the beginning...

Ugh, I'd better figure out how to light a bigger fire under my ███!


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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2017, 07:02:25 AM »
I wish I had seen this thread instead of starting a NaNoWriMo this month (and quitting after a couple days.) It's not that 1667 words/day is unreasonable, but 7 days a week for a month straight is what always kills it for me. This year's NaNo was especially bad with travel and kid/school stuff.

However, 5000 words a week is really very doable. And it really adds up to a lot if you actually do it ~5 of the 7 days, and keep going. It's an ideal pace for me, averaging low days and high days, so count me in!

I really need to grow some accountability somehow. As an indie with no real following yet, nobody but me cares whether I finish the next novel or not, so it's easy to get discouraged and weasel out of the work. How do you guys muster up the discipline to show up every day?

Wayne, your spreadsheet is incredible! I really like how you schedule every step along the way to publication, and even the after-pub work. It must be very rewarding to see it envisioned like that and follow through.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2017, 07:53:56 AM »
I wish I had seen this thread instead of starting a NaNoWriMo this month (and quitting after a couple days.) It's not that 1667 words/day is unreasonable, but 7 days a week for a month straight is what always kills it for me. This year's NaNo was especially bad with travel and kid/school stuff.

However, 5000 words a week is really very doable. And it really adds up to a lot if you actually do it ~5 of the 7 days, and keep going. It's an ideal pace for me, averaging low days and high days, so count me in!

I really need to grow some accountability somehow. As an indie with no real following yet, nobody but me cares whether I finish the next novel or not, so it's easy to get discouraged and weasel out of the work. How do you guys muster up the discipline to show up every day?

Wayne, your spreadsheet is incredible! I really like how you schedule every step along the way to publication, and even the after-pub work. It must be very rewarding to see it envisioned like that and follow through.

This is exactly why a daily word count doesn't work as well. For NaNo you strive for 50K words in a month. Not impossible, but when you break it down to 1667 words per day, and miss that mark on any given day, it might give you a feeling of failure, making the next day tougher.

What if you break the NaNo project down into just four weeks, instead of 30 days? And what if you break those four weeks down into just five work days for a total of 20 work days? Now, your daily target is 2500 words. Still not impossible. On good days, I've gone into the 3000-4000 range, since I started keeping track of such things. Before I was told I couldn't do it, I wrote my second novel, all 105K words, had it edited and published in 71 days, while working a 60 hour week as a trucker. Some of those days, I'm sure I hit 5K words.

Setting a NaNo goal of 12,500 words per week and starting on Monday, if you can hit 2500 words per day through the week, you get the weekend off. If you miss a daily target (remember it's not a daily goal), it's not a failure, because you can make it up the next day or by working on Saturday. I work through the weekends quite often to intentionally get ahead of schedule. Then I can reward my hard work with a long weekend. My sister and her husband came to visit last week and were here for five days. When they arrived, I was well ahead of schedule and only needed about 1200 words to reach my weekly goal. When you only need 1200 words in five days, you can do that in 20 minute sprints. So, I woke up an hour before anyone else and knocked out 1500 words by the time they left. And it didn't impede on enjoying their company.

Scheduling time off, to let your mind unwind, or take care of life's moments is hugely important in our job.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2017, 05:01:05 PM »
Stick a fork in it.

My WIP is now with my beta reading team. Editing, proofreading, and formatting dates are locked in. With a BookBub promo the day before the release, I'm going to try to move it up one more day, to December 27th, to coincide with the promo.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #63 on: January 06, 2018, 11:06:55 AM »
Rising Fury was released on time on December 27th. Note to self: Avoid launching around the holidays. It was the first time one of my new releases didn't eclipse the previous one. It has over ten days, but the launch was stalled due to the holidays.

So, I've started the next project this week. During the down time after the launch, I worked on some plot ideas and started polishing the opening scene. This past Monday was the beginning of the first week of writing with a goal of only 3000 words. I already had 500 written in the opening scene, so it was simple to ease back into writing. I expanded the opening scene into nearly a full chapter now with 3772 words. Next week's goal is another 4000 words, then after that, I'm shooting for 6000 words per week, to be able to finish all three books by the end of the year.

This is my writing and publishing schedule, which I posted on my Facebook page. I've found that scheduling my work and announcing that schedule keeps me accountable. Next to it on the spreadsheet is a 2018 calendar with dates highlighted in color for each book.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline amy_wokz

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2018, 11:51:07 AM »
Rising Fury was released on time on December 27th. Note to self: Avoid launching around the holidays. It was the first time one of my new releases didn't eclipse the previous one. It has over ten days, but the launch was stalled due to the holidays.

So, I've started the next project this week. During the down time after the launch, I worked on some plot ideas and started polishing the opening scene. This past Monday was the beginning of the first week of writing with a goal of only 3000 words. I already had 500 written in the opening scene, so it was simple to ease back into writing. I expanded the opening scene into nearly a full chapter now with 3772 words. Next week's goal is another 4000 words, then after that, I'm shooting for 6000 words per week, to be able to finish all three books by the end of the year.

This is my writing and publishing schedule, which I posted on my Facebook page. I've found that scheduling my work and announcing that schedule keeps me accountable. Next to it on the spreadsheet is a 2018 calendar with dates highlighted in color for each book.


Many thanks for sharing that, Wayne. I find it very helpful.
"Writers write, and everyone else talks about it." - Jack M. Bickham

Offline Wayne Stinnett

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2018, 12:27:58 PM »
The attached calendar, showing 5-day writing blocks for three books and weeks off for spring break, Key West Mystery Fest, NINC, and the holidays. White areas are work days, but no writing. Because, why schedule to do something when you know you're going to be distracted? The three launch days are outlined in red.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 12:31:37 PM by Wayne Stinnett »
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline williamvw

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2018, 04:30:05 PM »
Wayne, this is incredibly helpful. Thank you. If I can ask, when/where do you bake planning/outlining/research into your schedule? I'm a bit shell-shocked (meaning, hugely envious) at the brevity of your editing window, and I have to believe it is made possible my a very solid first draft in turn made possible by excellent planning. So or not so?

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2018, 08:22:06 PM »
Wayne, this is incredibly helpful. Thank you. If I can ask, when/where do you bake planning/outlining/research into your schedule? I'm a bit shell-shocked (meaning, hugely envious) at the brevity of your editing window, and I have to believe it is made possible my a very solid first draft in turn made possible by excellent planning. So or not so?

It's more to do with the scheduling than anything. By letting people know well in advance, I'm not sending a manuscript I hope they can squeeze in. Final proofreading and formatting take only a couple days each, but I have two weeks allotted. And my beta readers usually take only three or four days. So, there is some flexibility after I finish.

I don't plot, bake, outline, hatch or research anything. I'm a complete pantser and a natural storyteller. Have been since I was a kid. I simply choose a place in the Caribbean I'm familiar with, put my MC in that setting, and start describing it though his senses. Usually the plot and problem come to him, as I write. Then I just let the story unfold on its own.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2018, 01:44:42 AM »
The attached calendar, showing 5-day writing blocks for three books and weeks off for spring break, Key West Mystery Fest, NINC, and the holidays. White areas are work days, but no writing. Because, why schedule to do something when you know you're going to be distracted? The three launch days are outlined in red.


Theres just something so visually satisfying about your color coded calendar!!
I need one, stat.
Thanks for sharing your process, its really motivating!

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2018, 11:36:57 AM »
Having just found this thread on the advice of a friend and read through it, I can definitely see the value of setting the schedule in advance in terms of smoothing out the pipeline.

As someone eager to go to market yet still somewhat stymied by the process of putting a book together in credible fashion (the writing output part I don't really have a problem with) I'm certain I'd have work published by now if I had followed a format similar to what you've posted.  Will have to work on implementation.

Thanks kindly for sharing!
ab uno disce omnes

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2018, 01:15:15 PM »
Last week, I did 26k. I'm shooting for 25k a week, so that I keep up with my plans, and don't have to write on weekends. This week is off to a slow start, but I have time today and tomorrow to get back on track.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2018, 01:19:11 PM »
My personal goal I've set is 30,000 words per month. If I write at that rate, that's about three and a half books a year (unless they're really long). Usually, I write one book and edit another at the same time, and that's seemed to work pretty well so far.

Last year, I came in a little short of that 30,000-a-month goal. This year, I'm hoping I don't get too swamped with other responsibilities.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2018, 05:31:59 PM »
This was a busy week. I had appointments with my eye surgeon, my dentist, and my vet. Actually, he's Bill's vet. Bill's my dog. I digress. So, I had to do a little writing today to stay on schedule. Starting Monday, it's 1200 words per day for five days. This will be my goal (6K per week) until the end of March, when Enduring Charity will be finished.

Staying on schedule is so much easier, when you have realistic goals and plan on time off.
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag

Offline Quinning

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2018, 05:38:44 PM »
Thanks for all of this! I have shamelessly copied your editing and planning structures. I am so excited now about 2018 now that I know where I am going!

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2018, 04:56:10 AM »
Managed 20k in the last two weeks to finish off a 75k book, so I'm pleased. For the second half of the month, I'm aiming a little higher.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2018, 08:15:44 AM »
Only 4600 words this week so next week I'm going to have to play catch up.

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Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2018, 02:00:29 PM »
Belay my last. The girls went to the mall in Savannah today and were going to be gone all day. So, I added another 1300 words bringing the current total to 8349 with a goal of 7000 for the week.

By getting ahead with an easy schedule, if something should come up like the Miami Boat Show next month, I can take some workdays off. So, I'm making reservations. Eric Stone is playing the Cruisers Party there and will be debuting his new song, which is based on my books, to my target audience of boat bums and trawler trash.  ;D
NINC President-Elect. My Amazon Bestselling, twelve-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  three-volume Charity Styles Series, also Amazon Bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, with many more exciting adventures to come. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, and is also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
Semper Fi,
Wayne Stinnett | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Motivational Videos | Down Island Press | Ship's Store Swag