Author Topic: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?  (Read 1773 times)  

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2018, 11:31:12 PM »
So I'm about to try that "lock yourself in a hotel room and write" thing. My goal is to not leave. At all. It's got a little kitchen, so I'm gonna try to bring all my food, though I may need to go grocery shopping at some point.

My goal is to complete a novel which, currently, I've only got one chapter done on. But I haven't done this before, and I've never actually written a novel that quickly. I'd post daily updates, but I'm also going to try to stay away from the internet the whole time, so I'll have to just report back when I'm done. Not entirely sure how long I'll be there, but I think I'm scheduled for 13 days.

Does anyone have any tips for me?

If you've never done the cloistered-all-alone writing thing before, I'd advise some deep breathing. There will be some moments when you'll feel a bit overwhelmed by the size of your new distraction-free writing universe. The luxury of it can stun the creative brain. So breathe and enjoy.

While all the suggestions here are fantastic (I intend to try a few!), be careful not to stall yourself trying to apply a too-new regimen. Write as you always write, just do more of it. You'll be amazed.

Good luck! I'll look forward to hearing your results.  :)

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2018, 12:21:40 AM »
I very much sympathize with the need to do this. And it may work out great. I work best alone, personally, and when I can focus on nothing but the book. I wrote my first book, 100K in 6 weeks, when I was all alone for the first-ever time in 30 years. It was an eye opener. Writing is a very selfish thing for me, which is also why I spend very little time on marketing. I struggle in fact with the selfishness of it, but it pays the bills, so I have to do it in the way that works.

Ive written 26 novels in 6 years, close to 3 million published words, but this is always and still my struggle.

Offline MelanieCellier

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2018, 01:52:11 AM »
So I'm about to try that "lock yourself in a hotel room and write" thing. My goal is to not leave. At all. It's got a little kitchen, so I'm gonna try to bring all my food, though I may need to go grocery shopping at some point.

My goal is to complete a novel which, currently, I've only got one chapter done on. But I haven't done this before, and I've never actually written a novel that quickly. I'd post daily updates, but I'm also going to try to stay away from the internet the whole time, so I'll have to just report back when I'm done. Not entirely sure how long I'll be there, but I think I'm scheduled for 13 days.

Does anyone have any tips for me?

When you say not leave, do you mean the room or the hotel? Because you might find yourself very low on energy if you do no exercise at all (not even any incidental walking) for two weeks straight. You might want to extend your lock-in domain to include the hotel gym? Even if just for a gentle walk on a treadmill or something? (I'm no exercise junkie or anything, but I know I'm always being told I'd have more energy if I did more exercise :D )

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Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2018, 10:09:00 AM »
Yes, I have a working method which can lead to 4000-6000 words a day without overtaxing yourself. At the start of each hour, sit down and write 500 words. When you're done with the 500, use the rest of the hour for whatever you want.

Excellent idea, thank you!

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Offline Rosie A.

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2018, 11:32:22 AM »
So I'm about to try that "lock yourself in a hotel room and write" thing. My goal is to not leave. At all. It's got a little kitchen, so I'm gonna try to bring all my food, though I may need to go grocery shopping at some point.

My goal is to complete a novel which, currently, I've only got one chapter done on. But I haven't done this before, and I've never actually written a novel that quickly. I'd post daily updates, but I'm also going to try to stay away from the internet the whole time, so I'll have to just report back when I'm done. Not entirely sure how long I'll be there, but I think I'm scheduled for 13 days.

Does anyone have any tips for me?
One tip: if there's a pool, use it! :D Enjoy your time and I hope you get a lot done!

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2018, 03:33:23 PM »
I very much sympathize with the need to do this. And it may work out great. I work best alone, personally, and when I can focus on nothing but the book. I wrote my first book, 100K in 6 weeks, when I was all alone for the first-ever time in 30 years. It was an eye opener. Writing is a very selfish thing for me, which is also why I spend very little time on marketing. I struggle in fact with the selfishness of it, but it pays the bills, so I have to do it in the way that works.

Ive written 26 novels in 6 years, close to 3 million published words, but this is always and still my struggle.

Odd, isn't it? No matter how much you write, the process of writing remains a challenge. At least for me, it's never gotten "easy." I mean, baking your first apple pie is a challenge, your tenth is ho-hum. Not so the writing of a book. We occasionally get a gift-from-the-writing-gods book, but I don't think it's the norm.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks? (with results)
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2018, 02:24:23 PM »
Hi, everyone! So, I'm back. It went pretty well.

First, I should clarify that I did this because unrelated circumstances were such that I needed to be out of the house and I didn't want to go in to work, so I was going to take it off anyway. What I expected out of this is probably less than someone who takes all that time off only to do this, for no other reason.

Here's the run-down on my wordcount (somewhat rounded):
Day 1: 1,600
Day 2: 2,900
Day 3: 3,400
Day 4: 5,000
Day 5: 6,200
Day 6: 5,600
Day 7: 5,200
Day 8: 5,600
Day 9: 5,200
Day 10: 5,100
Day 11: 5,300 (finished story)
Day 12: 0 words, full edit
Total words written: 51,500

(It ended up only being 12 full days there.)

The first day, I didn't even start writing until late evening because I was still doing "settling in" stuff and, as I realized later, simply procrastinating.
Day two was a bit better, but I still didn't spend much time writing.
About half-way through day three, I realized that I was actively looking for things to distract myself with. Fortunately, I had not brought many such things, so I'd already burned through most of them. I had made the mistake (it seems to have been) of trying to be strict about my diet as well, and I think my self-discipline couldn't handle so many things at once. I gave myself permission to eat/drink somewhat unhealthily, and my mind was no longer focused on all the food I wanted to have and let me focus on my writing. I still need to deal with the diet thing, but it seems like this will better be handled one thing at a time.

This was a great learning experience. Particularly these points:
1. I can easily achieve 5,000 words a day, given no other demands on my time.
2. When I hit a snag and a scene isn't coming for me, it will not magically be solved by not working on it. I have to actively think through the problem until I find a solution. Usually, it's fiddling around with ideas until I hit one that I know immediately is correct, which allows me to continue on with writing until I hit the next snag. Writing feels a bit like my creative side is a teenager in the driver's seat, happily going along, but sometimes comes to a mysterious dead-end or mechanical problem, and my logical side is a patient adult that has to take the wheel just long enough to get free of the problem, then give it back to my creative side.
3. The process that seems to work best for me is to pre-write to build background on my characters/world, and have at least some idea of what the story's about, then start the book without trying to outline or know too much about where I'm going. Then, after 10k words or so, I have enough written that I can start fleshing in more of the later parts of the story, building as I go. I sometimes also need to write a quick scene summary to figure out the points of a scene before writing it, especially fight scenes. But it's totally doable for me to sit down at the computer and only know "this is the scene where character X discovers secret Y" and get started. There is no excuse in letting myself avoid writing because I don't know exactly how it's all going to go before I sit down.
4. At this point in my writing, I write very clean. I mean, I write what I want the first time. I lean heavily on my intuition, so if a scene or development doesn't "feel" right, I know it immediately and correct it, so I don't end up doing very heavy editing at all. (This also requires the pre-writing I mentioned. I don't learn about characters as I write the story. I pre-write about them so that by the time I start the story, I know them well enough, from the beginning, to know what they'd do or how they'd feel in any situation. (Though it also helps that I outline as I go, doing more outlining the farther into the story I am, so that helps keep the whole thing cohesive.)
5. It was a lot easy for me to stay focused when I didn't have any other stories in my mind, like other books, shows, etc. I'll need to try to save any such activities for the end of the day, after I've done my writing, unless maybe it's a story that isn't very interesting to me. The more I enjoy someone else's story, the harder it is to focus on my own because my mind wants to go linger in that other world.

The final book ended up being a little over 60k (I'd had some done already), which had sounded like a fine length when I look at the number, but after reading the book, it still feels a little short for me, so I'll probably try to aim at my more usual 100k for most books in the future.

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2018, 02:39:00 PM »
Thanks for the update.

Congrats on finishing the book!

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2018, 02:46:25 PM »
I would have guessed 50k was possible based on my experiences with NaNoWriMo and some other challenges. But first, one must have a story. Looks like you did. Congratulations.

Offline Dayseye

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2018, 04:13:57 AM »
Yes, I have a working method which can lead to 4000-6000 words a day without overtaxing yourself. At the start of each hour, sit down and write 500 words. When you're done with the 500, use the rest of the hour for whatever you want.

500 words shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. Do this for 12 hours straight. Voila, 6000 words. (By the end of the day 500 words will be taking more like 40 mins. Been there!)

Cheers for this! It's proving a real incentive - except the 500 words take 45 mins & so only have 15 mins to do whatever I want :)
Luckily, my wants are fairly small.


Hi, everyone! So, I'm back. It went pretty well.

First, I should clarify that I did this because unrelated circumstances were such that I needed to be out of the house and I didn't want to go in to work, so I was going to take it off anyway. What I expected out of this is probably less than someone who takes all that time off only to do this, for no other reason.

Here's the run-down on my wordcount (somewhat rounded):
Day 1: 1,600
Day 2: 2,900
Day 3: 3,400
Day 4: 5,000
Day 5: 6,200
Day 6: 5,600
Day 7: 5,200
Day 8: 5,600
Day 9: 5,200
Day 10: 5,100
Day 11: 5,300 (finished story)
Day 12: 0 words, full edit
Total words written: 51,500

(It ended up only being 12 full days there.)

The first day, I didn't even start writing until late evening because I was still doing "settling in" stuff and, as I realized later, simply procrastinating.
Day two was a bit better, but I still didn't spend much time writing.
About half-way through day three, I realized that I was actively looking for things to distract myself with. Fortunately, I had not brought many such things, so I'd already burned through most of them. I had made the mistake (it seems to have been) of trying to be strict about my diet as well, and I think my self-discipline couldn't handle so many things at once. I gave myself permission to eat/drink somewhat unhealthily, and my mind was no longer focused on all the food I wanted to have and let me focus on my writing. I still need to deal with the diet thing, but it seems like this will better be handled one thing at a time.

This was a great learning experience. Particularly these points:
1. I can easily achieve 5,000 words a day, given no other demands on my time.
2. When I hit a snag and a scene isn't coming for me, it will not magically be solved by not working on it. I have to actively think through the problem until I find a solution. Usually, it's fiddling around with ideas until I hit one that I know immediately is correct, which allows me to continue on with writing until I hit the next snag. Writing feels a bit like my creative side is a teenager in the driver's seat, happily going along, but sometimes comes to a mysterious dead-end or mechanical problem, and my logical side is a patient adult that has to take the wheel just long enough to get free of the problem, then give it back to my creative side.
3. The process that seems to work best for me is to pre-write to build background on my characters/world, and have at least some idea of what the story's about, then start the book without trying to outline or know too much about where I'm going. Then, after 10k words or so, I have enough written that I can start fleshing in more of the later parts of the story, building as I go. I sometimes also need to write a quick scene summary to figure out the points of a scene before writing it, especially fight scenes. But it's totally doable for me to sit down at the computer and only know "this is the scene where character X discovers secret Y" and get started. There is no excuse in letting myself avoid writing because I don't know exactly how it's all going to go before I sit down.
4. At this point in my writing, I write very clean. I mean, I write what I want the first time. I lean heavily on my intuition, so if a scene or development doesn't "feel" right, I know it immediately and correct it, so I don't end up doing very heavy editing at all. (This also requires the pre-writing I mentioned. I don't learn about characters as I write the story. I pre-write about them so that by the time I start the story, I know them well enough, from the beginning, to know what they'd do or how they'd feel in any situation. (Though it also helps that I outline as I go, doing more outlining the farther into the story I am, so that helps keep the whole thing cohesive.)
5. It was a lot easy for me to stay focused when I didn't have any other stories in my mind, like other books, shows, etc. I'll need to try to save any such activities for the end of the day, after I've done my writing, unless maybe it's a story that isn't very interesting to me. The more I enjoy someone else's story, the harder it is to focus on my own because my mind wants to go linger in that other world.

The final book ended up being a little over 60k (I'd had some done already), which had sounded like a fine length when I look at the number, but after reading the book, it still feels a little short for me, so I'll probably try to aim at my more usual 100k for most books in the future.

This makes fascinating reading & an epic achievement - congrats!
A couple of ? Will you be repeating the experience? If so, would you do anything different?


Offline Puddleduck

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Re: How many words can I write in just under two weeks?
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2018, 11:26:20 AM »
A couple of ? Will you be repeating the experience? If so, would you do anything different?

Probably not. This time happened only because of outside circumstances which are unlikely to recur. Although, if similar circumstances did happen again, and I found myself in an extended stay somewhere outside of home without having to go to my day job, I probably would take the opportunity to really focus on writing like this.

Would I do anything different? Hmm ... I would probably make an effort to stay somewhere that had a hotel gym that I could use. I ended up not working out at all for the whole time, which wasn't great. And I would probably bring even fewer possible distractions. I'd try to bring only audio/visual entertainment which helped get me in the right frame of mind or inspire me for whatever project I was working on, so it would help me get back into the writing rather than tempting me to veer away from it, mentally. The two things I brought which ended up working best were a video game that I could simply grind a little bit (leveling up characters) to give me a mental break, but not getting me sucked in, so I could play for 10 or 20 minutes and then get back to writing, and my e-reader, which I used to read a book at night after I was done writing (and it was a book that kept me interested enough to read it, but didn't try to suck me entirely in and not put it down).

Writing for an hour or two at a time and then taking a 15-30 minute break when I felt like I came to a good stopping point worked pretty well for me.