I saw a recent discussion on Facebook where someone asked what’s the fastest you’d ever written a novel. The answers astounded me. (I’m outing some of our MSW ladies who had replied.”
BJ Daniels: “10 days. I couldn’t not stop working on that book. It was insane.”
Allison Brennan: “3 weeks. I hated it. 6 weeks is pushing it, but doable (and I’ve written a lot of books in 6-8 weeks). I like 10 weeks — that seems to be the perfect time for me.”
“I was hired to write a memoir that was 110,000 words and I write it in a week. Didn’t get much sleep, but I did get it done, only to have to rewrite it 4x more.”
“With my two and a half weeker, I was working from a synopsis I’d written for the proposal. And the only reason I wrote it so fast was because I had no choice.”
“9 days. I don’t know which one it was, though… it might be my most popular series, but I can’t remember.” (This one made me laugh. This is such a writer’s brain.”
“Just under a month. Was living in a hospital with my wife at the time and really had nothing else to occupy my mind while she slept so I pretty much wrote non-stop.”
“40 days. It was what I still consider my best.”
I refrained from making any sarcastic remarks on the discussion, because I was in awe. I’ve written 20K in four days. That’s my best word count result, but I had a rough outline to follow and my kids were away. That’s the key; my kids were away. Usually I try to do 10K a week for ten weeks to write a novel, and these weeks aren’t usually in a row. I don’t have much of an outline when I’m writing a novel. I usually know the beginning, I know my characters before I start, and I try to know where and what I want to have happen at the end. I aim to turn out a novel every six months. That includes a month of edits, the copy edits, and the research/brainstorm time.
But life often gets in the way of writing. My kids spend part of their time at their dad’s and this is when I try to crank out the words. But what about getting sick? What about simply not wanting to open your laptop some days? What about the weeks when you HATE your book and wish you’d never started such a foolish process? Writers need downtime. We need vacations, we need to relax during holidays, and we need to spend time with our families.
I saw a writer suggest writing 1000 words a day, no matter what. Even if you take off 65 days, you’ll still have 300K at the end of the year. That’s three books. My mind boggled. She was right. And I can write 1000 words in an hour. Is it possible that I could produce three books a year, by only writing an hour a day? It’s a challenge I’m tempted to take.
But…every day?? Some people subscribe to the rule that writers need to write every day. I’m not one of them. I need non-writing days. Lots of them. But I’m still considering this challenge.
So what’s the fastest word count you’ve accomplished? How’d it turn out? Anyone interested in the 300K challenge?