What is your daily word count goal when you are writing a novel?
Do you strive to hit a certain number of words every day when you are writing a novel? or do you just allow the words to take you away?
The truth here is you are worrying about a nit. The problem is we all do.
If you have a story idea, and if you have outlined it, if you have all your characters identified and fleshed out. If you know what your plot points are, then write your opening paragraph and stay with it until you can read it and say, I would like to read this novel.
After that, how much time do you have in a sitting to write and how many days a week will you write.
I want to write a thousand publishable words a day. I write detective novels that tend to run to between 50,000 and 60,000 words. I write to entertain, and to provide a ripping good yarn that provides interesting characters, an exciting story, and a satisfying ending. Then I add an epilogue that leads into the next book.
I have yet to accomplish my goal, but that is what I try for.
Author Jonas Watcher: The Case of the Running Bag
It might be better to count by the page. If you can crank out at least 10 pages per day, you are probably on your way to completing the rough draft. If you don't have a busy schedule, you could shoot for 20 pages. I only know this from hearing professional writers discuss their processes. Once they have the rough draft complete, they read through and decide what they like and don't like. Then the second draft is a little easier (or harder). Some writers go through many drafts before giving the manuscript to their editor.
A problem a lot of new writers seem to have is that they want to constantly edit and second guess themselves on the first rough draft. It seems to be a better process to just write and not worry. Get the full story onto paper and then you can chisel away at it for the second draft. It's so hard to avoid the temptation to self-correct early that a lot of professional writers still use typewriters or they write by hand.
During NaNoWriMo I shoot for about 1,600 words per day. But that's mostly because of the goal/deadline. If I'm not writing for a specific event, I'm happy with any amount of words, even if it's only one sentence. Since writing a novel is such a large undertaking, any amount of progress, no matter how small, is working towards your ultimate goal.
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