Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Word Count Goals And The Pathway To Hell.

I’m gonna get some back lash for this one. That’s ok, I’d like to know how you all do it, if you do.

Word count goals. They are everywhere. Literally. Daily I watch as TweetDeck flashes updates of a new word count goal that has been met or missed by another writer.

Who can write this way? Apparently–LOTS of people. I am not one of them. I’d sooner stab myself in the hand than lay down a number count I had to adhere to.

The writing routine is varied, I know, and what works for one writer will surely not work for all. Some can force the words out and tada! 1,000 words today. Yay me! I can’t force myself to do anything. I would feel like The Little Engine That Could. He’s out there dying of heat exhaustion, thirsting to death, but COME ON LITTLE ENGINE! KEEP GOING! Umm….? Give the train some damn water already.

If I forced myself to write 1,000 words a day (or any), it would probably read like I was trying to decipher the lost language of Danu Talis with a rock by moonlight.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you write this way, I am in awe of you. YOU have an advantage. It’s called speed. And speed in this fast-changing industry is a huge ally. So what are your secrets? How do you write this way if you do? If you don’t, what your reasons?

Personally, I’d rather take longer with my ms than willingly walk through the gateways of rewriting hell (been there, isn’t fun) covered in burns and soot trying to unearth a story through all the madness I created with my rock.

12 responses

  1. I can totally relate to this post.

    I don’t set word count goals for myself and getting 1000 words down for me, as a short story writer, might take WEEKS or MONTHS.

    If you go to my list of published stories on my blog, you’ll see that most of them are flash fiction. It usually takes me months to perfect a story, but I’ll be honest, most of that time is spent in obsessive editing, rewriting and checking every single word 10 gazillion times.

    I will say that the more often I write, it does get easier – but “easier” is a very relative term!

    August 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm

  2. Pingback: We Don’t Need No Freaking Word Counts « Cdeminski's Blog

  3. Thanks for the ping;) I’m obsessive enough without latching on to set numbers. Yes, ‘easier’ is very relative–agreed!

    August 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  4. Pingback: Three biggest writing mistakes « alchemyofscrawl

  5. I used to have a word count goal and it worked fine, until I realised it was often making me stop writing in the middle of a scene. So then I set scene goals. Now I just have writing goals. As in, write today. Whether it’s 500 words or 3000, I’m happy to have written.

    April 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

    • I like the ‘I write today’ goal. 😉 I have that goal also. I also have chapter goals. They feel more attainable and have no word count relation. And I can gauge how far I’m getting in a more measurable way. Because at the end of the day, 3000 words a day doesn’t mean my story is better, or even close to finished, it just means I have a lot of words.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:47 am

  6. Good post, Laney. I don’t set writing goals like word count and such. My characters tell me what to write, and I write it. If that means 8,000 words in a day then that’s what I do. Save My Soul only took 21 days to write & Forbidden To Know, my next novel published in July, took only 28 days. I’ve completed 6 novels in a year and a half. I haven’t wrote anything in several months, but the voices are beginning to talk again, so I don’t expect the vacation to last long. Lol. I write b/c I’m inspired.

    April 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

    • Thanks, Kristie.

      WOW! You are fast. That’s great. I’m like a turtle. I second guess, question everything and go back in for draft 2, 3, 4, 5…. You get the idea. I wrote the body of my current novel in about 3 months. But it has taken another year to tidy it up, edit and revise, for me to be happy with it. You have the advantage. The speed. It’s hard to attain, I think. You probably have it or you don’t.

      And I agree, I’m not a word count goal setter either.
      Thanks for stopping by the blogosphere today. 😉

      April 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

  7. Pingback: Sometimes You Need To Scrap it. That’s okay. | Laney McMann YA Writer

  8. I knew it was you that wrote this post but when i serached i couldnt find it! Anyway, agree 100%

    May 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm

  9. You were searching for it? Awww. 😉 Hahahaa. Yes, me. The writing ‘rules’ instigator.

    May 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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