Some writers are worried that they aren’t turning out as many pages as they should, or that they may be writing too fast.
So, let’s look at a reasonable daily output for a typical author. This is how I have answered similar questions on Quora.com.
Let’s do some simple math.
A good goal for many professional writers is to turn out five to ten pages a day during a four or five day work week. On average, a page equals 250 words set in 12 point Times New Roman.
Assume you write 1250 words a week or 5,000 words a month. You would produce about 60,000 words in a year. Novels range between 80,000 to 120,000 words. So it usually takes a pro one to two years to finish the first draft, not including time to refine and edit.
Hemingway was said to have written about 500 words a day; Stephen King reportedly produces 2000 words daily.
I suppose some writers can turn out a novel in six months but the quality of such a hastily written work might be highly suspect. If one is writing in a genre that is largely produced by formula, it may be easier to shorten development time.
Personally, I don’t think good novels should be rushed. Professional writing requires patience and perseverance. Each story will require a different length of time to unfold. Scenes should be carefully thought through, even before you put them on the page. Writing is more about thinking than typing. Give your story the time it needs to unfold with depth and meaning.
Doris Booth is Editor-in-Chief and founder of Authorlink.com.
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