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Stacy Claflin said:
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
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
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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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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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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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
William Peter Grasso said:
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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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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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Sapphire said:
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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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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William Peter Grasso said:
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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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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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.
 

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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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Wayne Stinnett said:
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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