Saturday, October 26, 2013

Strategies for Meeting a Daily Word Quota

If you're preparing for NaNoWriMo or you've set a new daily word count goal for yourself this is the post for you. I'm writing 1000 words a day (except for weekends) as part of my plan to get back to writing my story. However, I'm not going to be doing National Novel Writing Month (50 000 words in the month of November), but my friend Dakota Densmore is (or at least she's seriously considering it)! So I decided to dedicate this post to her and all of you bloggers doing to same.

Know What You're Going to Write
It really helps to have a plot in mind when you're trying to write constantly. I found if I know what's I'm going to be writing when I sit down and open up the story document, then the words come quicker and without effort. For all you "pantsers" out there, you don't have to know every detail of what you write each day, but it helps to know the goal of the scene you're working on.

For example: In this scene the war is going to end and the treaty is going to be delivered to the castle. 
This still leaves tons of freedom as you write. Who delivers the treaty? What will it look like? Who announces the war ending? etc. etc.  

Always end the writing for the day in the middle of a scene. Even if you have to gotten to your daily quota just as you finish a scene, write a few extra sentences get the next scene started. This will make you anxious to get back writing the next day.

Split Up Your Writing Over the Day
Since my goal is 1000 words a day, I try to write 500 words sometime before I eat supper. Then I take a break after supper (watch some T.V., read, blog etc.) and then write the other 500 words. It's so much easier to make two small goals instead of one large one. The only way this works though is if you don't let yourself get away with skipping. 

Close the Internet Browser While You're Writing:
Don't cheat like I do; don't just minimize it! If you're feeling particularly weak disconnect from the internet all together.
Be Excited About What You're Going to Write
If you aren't exciting about telling your story (and dread getting words on the page), maybe you need to return to the plot board and work through some ideas. Sometimes it's okay to skip to the fun parts of your story. Writing should be fun! 

Just Write
Don't worry about editing and plot holes! I know it's hard to turn off the inner editor, but it really helps. If you can't quite forgot about something, it's okay to fix minor errors, but don't spend more than ten minutes of your writing time on it. If there is a plot/character problem that you can't fix in those ten minutes that's eating you up, have a notebook handy and jot it down, so you can access it quickly when you're doing revision.

Do you have any tips on how to meet a daily word quota? Do you have a quota? Are you doing NaNo? I'd love to hear your views on all this.

Reading: Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
Listening: Jack Johnson
Watching: Income Property 

P.S. If you're wondering why I'm not doing NaNo you can read my thoughts on it from last year. Surprisingly they're the same as they are now.


  1. I like the idea of stopping for the day mid-scene as a way to be able to more easily pick up the next day. I sometimes merely jot notes about the next scene before stopping, but I bet writing a paragraph or two would help more.

    I'm also not a NaNo-er. It works well for some. But my process is to revise as I go. It's always worked for me.

    1. I jot notes at the end too if there's a particular detail that I want to use when I come back to writing.

      I think the most important thing about writing is to find what works for you and do it! As long as you're being productive, I say go for it.

      Thanks for commenting:)


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