Monday, May 16, 2011

Word Counts

I have written a considerable amount of longer fiction over the last year.  But I have never been one for word counts or keeping track of the count, although some of my writing friends do.  I normally write a chapter at a time and try to keep moving along in the limited time I have to write. 

But I'm starting to get the value of the word count.  If a novel is defined as a work of fiction starting at 50,000 words and you are planning on writing something you would like to call a novel, it's good to know how many words you have written, especially if that matters to publishers. 

Today, I am happy to say my current work in progress is 10% of a novel.  I have four chapters totalling just over 5,000 words.  That makes me feel good.  I feel like I have made a solid bit of progress.  I have the characters, setting, and plot completely planned out.  All I have to do is write the words. 

I think I will set mini-goals for myself of 5,000 words.  When I get to that point, I will treat myself in some small way - or just brag about it here.  I also divided my novel up into sections.  I'm almost done with section one.  I see no harm in overlapping treats for myself - a treat for every 5K and another for completion of a section (there are 5 sections in this one).  I think the treats will be in the form of lattes or maybe cookies.   If I time it just right, maybe I can have both together.

I hope the words are flowing for you all too.  For the fiction writers out there, how do you keep yourself motivated when writing longer stories?  I am particularly interested in motivation techniques that don't add on pounds - all I can imagine is food treats (yes, I was a pudgy kid).


  1. Treats are good. Pat yourself on the back. A job well done.

  2. My motivations are usually silly ones, like, watching a television episode on hulu or netflix. Sometimes when the writing isn't flowing, I set smaller goals so I can reach them more quickly.