dinsdag 3 december 2013

Writing 5K

So, in the past, I mentioned the number of words I write daily when it is NaNoWriMo time. In case you missed all those times, it is 5.000 words, which is about three times the recommended daily amount for NaNoWriMo in order to finish the challenge on time.

I also said I was a bit of an overachiever, so don't look at me like that.

When I don't distract myself and find myself to be 'in the zone', as many would call it, I manage to type roughly 1.000 words per 30 minutes. That doesn't mean these 1.000 words are pure gold, free of typo's, or even coherent (okay, they are pretty much coherent), but these 1.000 words have appeared in my word .doc and are counting towards the wordcount.
The moment I start distracting myself, though, the speed plummets. If I have something running on the side, like a series, or a movie, I'm already happy if I reach a thousand words in an hour, which means that I'm doubling the time I'm spending on the writing process for the day.
The reason that I choose to have this blatant distraction running beside my word document, though, probably has to do with the fact that I'm feeling like I don't have the inspiration to write that day. I force myself to write, though, as I need those 5K to keep my story going and even when I feel like I'm not going to produce much, there is the chance that, whatever I'm writing, could actually be pure gold.
What I then find, is that five thousand words actually isn't that much, depending on what is happening at the moment. For example, and this is a spoiler for Hangman's Daughter, somewhere in the story is a fight that takes roughly 2.500 words to actually finish up a pretty important issue that ran through most of the story. There's barely any dialogue, but there's a lot of action that, in my mind's eye, lasted for roughly two or three minutes. The same goes up for dialogues or exposition, which can quickly get out of hand and actually start taking up more words than I had ever thought I would need for them. Suddenly, I have reached five thousand words and still haven't reached that point in the story that I had promised myself I would be at by then.

A result of this is that I start debating with myself whether I want to start writing more words per day, but then I find that there are some problems that are hard to overcome. The five thousand words are barely a problem on good days, but can take all day when I'm having a bad day. Writing more words per day, say, 7.500 instead of  5.000, would actually be a way to expand my stories and allow myself to really expand some things that I cut short this year, but it would also require me to spend another hour and a half to write on a good day. That would be two and a half hours of extra writing on a bad day, when I only type a thousand words per hour. That would mean that I'd actually be spending almost a full working day on simply writing, something I doubt I would be able to keep up next to a fulltime job.

So, there are a lot of pros to the five thousand words, but there is also the huge con that it usually doesn't bring me as much words as I could need on a day. It's a difficult thing to weigh, and I only cross over the 5.000 when I'm either in a hurry to finish the book on the last day, am incredibly inspired and actually want to keep writing despite the fact that I'm no longer forcing myself, or if I actually lose track of the amount of words I've written. That last one has become hard with me compulsively checking the word count of the novel every ten minutes or so, only broken when I've reached the before-mentioned 'zone' and forget all about it.
That doesn't happen all that much, though.

So, I think that, when the time comes around in a year and it is time to write again, I won't be writing more than five thousand words per day. It's a shame, but it keeps me sane...

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