Is 5,000 words per day Possible?

On the NaNoWriMo forums several folks have hit 50,000 already. Some have hit 100,000. A few have even hit 200,000. As can be expected these folks are under flame attack from several of the low word count folks and now have to answer for their “crime” of writing fast.

Of the threads throwing attacks at the high word count folks, I could only find one hat was not flaming them, and was instead asking for their advice:

ther you’re lying or you’re Superman/woman.

Otherwise, you must have nothing to do all day and knowing exactly what you want to happen and how it’s going to happen.

Which is it, and please give tips! I have more then 13K to go, to catch up for just today.
Procrastinators Unite! …Tomorrow.

[quote]Either you’re lying or you’re Superman/woman. [/quote]

Nope, neither; just writers. Writers who write for a living (ie they get paid to write in order to put food on the table and buy clothes for thier kids), write a lot and write a lot every day. For them, 10,000 words a day is just more of the same old same old, because they’d be writing 10,000 words per day even if they were not here on NaNo.

It should be noted that the term “writer” was originally the title of a career not the title of a hobby. Today is is looked on more as a hobby, which really is not good for the rest of us who do this for a living. Writing is a job that you get paid to do, and when you write for money, you write from 9 in the morning until 5 at night, just like any other 9 – 5 job, and there in lies the answer to how some can reach 100,000 – 200,000 in one week. Call it force of habit.

Anyways, anyone who writes a lot on a normal basis outside of NaNoWriMo, be it for their job or just a hobby, is used to writing a lot of words in a short period of time and therefor are able to zip ahead very quickly once they start writing a NaNoNovel.

If you write 10,000 words a day, you reach 100,000 in 10 days. Professional writers do this every day. I know, because I am one of them.

[quote]you must have nothing to do all day [/quote]

Consider this: 3000 words an hour is not at all uncomon for a professional author, I know because I do this myself. My average is 1,750 per hour, but that’s because I usually write at a slow pace, if I’m in a hurry 3,000 is easy. If you write 3000 words per hour for 5 hours, that’s 15,000 words in a single day. You do this for 10 days and you have a total of 150,000 words. Professional writers work regular 8 hour days. 3000 words per hour x 8 hour work days x 10 days = 240,000 words at the end of 10 days.

[quote]and knowing exactly what you want to happen and how it’s going to happen[/quote]

And yes, a lot of planning does go into these novels, that is why we sign up in October not November, so that we can send October plotting, planning, and outlining. The more thought you did ahead of time, the faster your brain flows when it comes time to do the writing. If you’ll notice, the people who hit higher numbers did not sign up at the last minute, and most of them started outlining their story as far back as last March.

In answer to the question asked on another thread, about if 5,000 words a day was possible, I said this: (It aplies here as well.)

    Yes… 5000 words in one day is very possible, here is my “score” of days over 5000 for this year and last:

    NaNoWriMo 2006:

    Day 4 = 6324

    Day 12 = 5008

    Day 17 = 5882

    Day 20 = 5734

    Most of the rest of the days of NaNo 2006 were between 2692 to 4069 words per day, with only 7 days in which I wrote less than 2000 words per day.

This year for NaNoWriMo 2007 my score is as follows:

    Day 1 = 6513

    Day 2 = 1473

    Day 3 = 2182

    Day 4 = 317

    Day 5 = 993

    Day 6 = 1739

    Day 7 = 594

    Day 8 = 901

    Day 9 = 1678

    Day 10 = 2235

As you can see from this years totals, it only takes one or two days of heavy writing to get ahead, even if you write less than 1000 words on half of the other days.

As to my non-NaNo writing, I average 700 to 3000 words per day, though it is not uncommon for me to write over 7000 words in a day, and a few times I have gone over 10,000 in one day.

My highest words per day to date, happened in October 2007. One week before NaNoWriMo 2007 started I wrote a non-NaNo story of 11,052 words in one sitting; it took me 5 hours to do so.

[quote]and please give tips! I have more then 13K to go, to catch up for just today[/quote]

What is my secret to high word counts? Well, writing each and every day for one thing. Writing multiple times per day for another thing.

Here’s what I try to do… I don’t always stick to this schedual, but of all the scheduals I’ve tried, this is the easiest one for me.

Here’s how it goes, if you’d like to give it a try:

First off:

I do not write in chapters.

I do not write to a set “hours per day”

I do not write to a set “words per day”

What I do is, I write small segments or scenes from my book. Say a conversation between two characters. Or maybe the description of a room. Something like that. I find this easier, because I can see a very clear beginning, middle, and end. Not the beginning, middle, and end of the entire book. Not the beginning, middle and end of the entire chapter. Just the beginning, middle, and end of that one scene, which in most cases is 2 to 4 paragraphs long or about 600 – 800 words.

I make it my goal to write three of these segmants each day. One in the morning as soon as I wake up, before I even get out of bed. One in the afternoon, when I get back in from taking my dog out for his daily walk. One in the evening, last thing just before going to bed. It takes about 15 – 30 minutes for me to write each segment. Or about 40 minutes to an hour and a half each day. In the end I end up with about 2,750 words written at the end of the day. That is, if I actualy sit down and write at all! I should be writing my NaNoNovel right now, cause I haven’t written anything yet today, but instead I find myself reading blogs from other NaNoers. LOL! Some days it’s just hard to get motivated to start writing.

Anyways, When you take it and break it down into tiny chunks like this, it seems like you haven’t written very much at all, when in fact you have gone well above and beyound your word count goal. I hope this helps.

As for the NaNoWriMo I’m writing… it is only half of what I write each day; I still have to do my regular writing each day on top of NaNoWriMo.

Good luck with your story!


Copper Cockeral
Need To Publish Your NaNoNovel?
So You Think You Know Phookas?

What’s your take on this? I’d love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!

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