Really want to piss off a writer? As him how many pages his book is.
If I wanted to make a 300 page book I could do that. All I needed to do was write 10,000 words and use a large font. I could also use a smaller font and write a 300 page book with 50,000 words. So page counts don’t matter. What does matter is word count.
Every year in November there is something called NaNoWriMo (Pronounced Nah-Noh-Ree-Mo) where writers across the world attempt to write a novel in one month. That’s what NaNoWriMo stands for, National Novel Writing Month. How much is a novel? Their guideline is 50,000 words which I think is about right for a modern book.
But how many words are books? Some books are over 300,000 words while some are just at 40,000. The baseline book, I think, is the first Harry Potter book. That guy came in at 70,000 words. So we can say that if that’s the average then a book, give or take 20,000 words is 50,000 words to 90,000 words.
Since there are 30 days in November and 50,000 divided by 30 is 1,667 words, we know that that’s how many words someone needs to write a day to reach that goal.
So am I going to write a novel in one month? No, and let me explain why.
As of this printing, I have written 122,000 words of book one in my upcoming science fiction trilogy. That is not a typo. My goal was to have each book be over 110,000 words. I’ve crushed that and I’m still not done with my book. I have another 5 to 10,000 words left (I think) until the book is complete. After that, I’ll then start on the next one. Since this is also gonna be a big sucker, there’s no way in heck that I’ll be able to finish it in November. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t participate in NaNoWriMo. Spiritually speaking at least.
My goal is to write at least 50,000 new words in the month of November. Notice I didn’t say new book. I need to finish book one and then I’ll go to two. And what’s crazy is, I haven’t even outlined that bad boy. I don’t really outline as much as I give myself certain guideposts as I call them. I need to know where I’m going but I don’t need to know every single stop.
Anyway, last time that took me nearly two weeks for my first book! I have a little rough outline for my second book but there is a lot left to be fleshed out. Also, I plan on also doing other writing projects like proofing another short story and fixing up my third novel. Yup, still not at the editor’s yet. My bad, as the kids say.
Anyway, Here’s how I plan on doing this. Very easy really.
I will write 800 words in the morning and another 800 words during lunch and / or at night.
That’s it. That’ll give me the 1,600 or so words a day I need.
Take last month for example. I wrote for only 23 days out of a possible 31. I missed over a week’s worth of writing. Sure I had to do some work travel but it was mostly getting my butt into the chair that was lacking. Writing 800 words takes about 45 minutes, the average time people spend on their phones every hour or some show on TV so time isn’t really the issue. We all have 45 minutes a day if we just cut out the garbage. But I did write 33,812 new words. That’s an average of 1,470.08695652173913 words a day, but who’s counting? So if I could write just shy of 1,500 words a day last month, I should easily be able to write an extra 100 words a day, right? Please say yes.
Wish me luck.