How to Write 100,000 Words in a Month

100k Words in 31 days requires: ~3,226 words a day, every day. If you do that for a year, you’ve written 1,200,000 words.

So how do you plan for success, to hit 100k words in a single month?

The three factors are: Writing Speed, Writing Time, and Planning.

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WRITING SPEED

To maintain a decent speed, I know ahead of time what scenes I am writing and what needs to happen. I use a timer to do nothing but focus on writing for 30-minute bursts, so I do my best to stay in the zone and let the words spill and tell the story.

What to do: Find your writing speed. Write solidly for a length of time (ex. 30-minute bursts) and figure out how many words you are actually writing per hour. That will be important to decide how much time you need to set aside every day to write.

WRITING TIME

More than speed, writing time is likely the most influential factor to word count. You have to have the time to set aside to achieve an average of over 3,000 words. Let’s assume you can really focus and get out 1,000 words in half an hour. 90 minutes is going to be almost in the zone. If you write slower, you’re looking at two.

If you do happen to write slower than this, daily writing is daily practice. You will get faster. If you measure your speed daily, you’ll see it.

Dedicating your time to writing might feel like a chore at times, but the payoff makes it all worthwhile. Think of what you can do with 100,000 words in a month as a writer: 1-2 novels, OR 5 20k novellas (perfect for serials), OR 10 10k short stories, AND for you short-short story writers, a potential of 20 5k length stories.

What to do: Take your writing speed and multiply it by the number of days in the month to see what you will accomplish. If you aren’t going to write every day, take that into account. Knowing what you can accomplish if you make the time is a great motivator to getting started on those days you don’t want to. But we’re chasing 100k words, right? You need to average that 3,200 words a day. How long is that going to take you?

PLANNING

I put planning last, though you need to know your projects before you even start. I have it last because Writing Speed and Time decide what you’re going to accomplish for the month. Planning also takes into account your goals. Use loose outlines to track your scenes. Keep a list of projects that you want to release within a certain time frame and a list of potential projects for the future.

What to do: Take a look at how many words you think you will write and decide what you’re going to write for the month, what you want to accomplish. This will help you maintain your momentum after each project. Always be ready to move on to the next book.

 

Note: This is a rewrite of an older blog post, making it less about my own writing and more about technique).

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Pulp Fiction Writing Challenge Week 1

Hey! thanks for joining me for my Pulp Fiction Writing Challenge. This is the first week so the details will come along as we go. You can participate in the comments, or better yet…

I’ve created a Facebook Group if you want to participate. 

The challenge will run for four weeks each month, starting on the 1st, and the last challenge ending on the 28th.

The Challenge: Write a complete book in 1 week.

The Rules:

  • Book may be outlined ahead of time.
  • Book may be any length, so if you know you won’t have much time to write, plan on something shorter.
  • You only need to complete the first draft.
  • Score yourself. Track how many successful weeks you have against how far along the challenge is.

While I created this challenge for me, it would be cool to have a writer’s group of fellow crazies. Let me know if you are along for the ride.

Pulp Speed Writing Day 22

As expected, I finished the rough draft of my WIP. It’s not pretty yet, but the story is told. Out of the 83,000 words in this book, after I trim out the stuff that no longer belongs, I’m left with 70,800. I’m pretty happy with that.

When I edit, I add words. I read a lot about how during the second draft you should chop somewhere around 10%, but I’ll add at least that much. maybe twice that. I’ll go back and flesh out descriptions, add more dialogue, make the dialogue a bit smoother, maybe further develop a few story arcs and weak characters.

Of course, I’ve got a bit over 12,000 words I’ve already chopped, but that’s from when I only had a 40k book. And I’d thought I was almost done then.

Anyway, I’ll spend the next several days seeing how far I can get through the editing, but expect the Pulp Fiction Challenge to Start on September 1st.

Day 22 Word Count: 3,988

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 39,567
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,799
  • Current Writing Streak: 22 days

Pulp Writing Speed Day 21 – Week 3 Growth, September Goals

wp-image-1036085911Day 21 brought me closer to my desired writing quota, hitting over 4k in two hours. My average words per hour were 2,800, but I was in the zone when the 30 minute alarm went off the last time and I might’ve gone a bit long, which skews the average. Anyway, that’s not significant.

You know, calling this, writing speed is a misnomer. The goal isn’t exactly speed, it’s quantity. If I’m shooting for 5k, it doesn’t matter how many hours it takes, as long as I put in the time. I’m not focusing on speed at all, except for how fast it takes to put out a  book.

Granted, writing speed is a huge factor, depending on how quickly I want to get away from my computer desk. If two hours is all the time I have to write, it makes sense to get as much out of it as I can. It’s productivity.

Anyway, my WIP is at 79k, of which I am happy with 66k.

And now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am hoping to finish the rough draft today (day 22).

I could have written much more but we went to The Sawtooth National Forest, did some hiking and played in the river.wp-image-109703582

Week 3 Growth

Week 2 had seen a drop from Week 1, but Week 3 blew both weeks out of the water. That comes from finding time to write on days that I normally wouldn’t think I’d have time, or would feel too tired. Those feelings didn’t change, but I still made time. The other factor is I was going through less old writing this week, writing more new material.

This next week will have me going through my WIP, polishing it into a finished draft, which may drop the productivity.

I will, however, also be starting a new book in 4 days. It’s not a perfect starting point based on my week, because my week begins based on when I started this writing streak. And then I’m using the beginning of the month as the focus for new writing projects.

September’s Goals

  • Write 4 Books in 4 weeks.
  • Publish 3 of the 4 before the end of the month
  • Release Paperback of Spilling Blood Season 3
  • Release Ebook of WIP (watch for title announcement)
  • Release Paperback of WIP

 

Day 21 Word Count: 4,206

 

STATS FOR WEEK 3 –

  • Word count: 15,130 (up 5,628 over last week)
  • Average Word Count per Day: 2,161 (up 804 per day over last week)
  • Current Work in Progress Word Count: 78,967 (actually usable: 66,812)

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 35,579
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,694
  • Current Writing Streak: 21 days

Pulp Speed Writing Day 20 – Telepathy. Dunh dunh DUNHHHHH!!!!

I know what your thinking right now, and let me tell ya something, you, you should be ashamed! There could be telepathic children nearby reading your thoughts (AS YOU THINK THEM!).

Woah, hold on, don’t make this about me, you dirty minded and crude individual you. This is about you. IT’s ALL ON YOU!!!! THIS IS CAPS LOCK!!!! Do you think about your mom with that mind? Sorry, that one sounded a lot weirder than I intended.

Telepathy, am I right?!

So yeah, thanks for showing up today. Have a seat, (oh, yeah, you’re probably reading this sitting down, BUT NOT THAT GUY! THAT ONE ON HIS CELL!!! He’s clearly standing, though… wait, it’s too late to prove me wrong, bucko! I saw you standing! I SAW YOU!!!!) and I’ll get on with my pulp speed report.

I wrote 2,770 words on a day I didn’t have much time to write, so TAKE THAT, LIFE DISTRACTIONS!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!! Today’s Sunday, nobody’s up, and I’ve got a little time before I head into the mountains. That’s today’s distraction – trees, water, and mountains.

I can feel this book nearing it’s ending. I feeeeeeel it. I think I can almost announce it soon. Despite all the delays, despite the haters… well, that one hater, that bastard, but nobody likes him either. Karma hates a hater, and even Taylor Swift says he’s gotta hate hate hate hate hate, so whatever. So yes, DESPITE!!!! It will be my longest published book, and I’m sure, instant classic. Seriously, you don’t want to miss it, because I’m putting a lot of my life into it, and therefore it lives too. Believe!!!

So… 20-day streak so far, average word count is crawling upward, the right way, finally!!!, and on a bad writing day, pushing me toward actual pulp speed writing. It’s a’comin’ (Idaho slang, word!!!). Average of 5k soon… Average wordsmithing per hour: 2,401. BAM!

Day 20 Word Count: 2,770

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 31,373
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,568
  • Current Writing Streak: 20 days

Pulp Speed Writing Day 19

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I knew I wouldn’t have much time on Friday, but I still set aside 30 minutes to get in some writing. The WIP is moving steadily forward, and I’m slowly deleting the outline as I complete the new sections.

Saturday is not looking promising, and I’ll be happy to get in 30 minutes. Just to say I showed up. There are 6 days left to complete the rough draft before the end of the month, which should be plenty of time, but then life and curve balls and all that.

Still planning on writing a book in a week the first week of September, regardless of what’s on my plate, and length based upon the number of free days I have (details in earlier post).

Day 19 Word Count: 978

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 28,603
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,505
  • Current Writing Streak: 19 days

Pulp Speed Writing Day 18

I put in a solid two hours of writing, getting me 4,372 words on my WIP. I am averaging 2,186 words an hour. The book is currently over 71k, with 59k being material I’m happy with. I suspect the finished book will now push 70k also.

As far as writing time, I don’t think I’m using my time all that well, and I think I on days like this I should be able to at least double it. At least it’s increasing in the right direction.

There’s not much of a guarantee that I can accomplish much over the next two days, so I’m going to just try and squeeze in what I can.

Day 18 Word Count: 4,372

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 27,625
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,535
  • Current Writing Streak: 18 days

Pulp Speed Writing Day 17

I didn’t think I’d have much time on Day 17, but surprisingly, I found it at the end of the night. I had about 45 minutes and worked on new material in my WIP. I still have almost two full pages of outline notes that need to be written, so it’s not as close to completion as I’d like.

I do have the first bare bones concept for a new story for the first week of September, when I’m going to put my new efforts to the test. I’ll share that every step of the way, so you can see me either succeed or fail. It’ll be fun. I’ll reveal it on the 1st. A book in a week. It’s length will be decided then, based on the week’s other commitments (see Day 15’s bullet list).

Coffee’s kicking in… time to start Day 18.

Day 17 Word Count: 1,701

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 23,253
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,367
  • Current Writing Streak: 17 days

Pulp Speed Writing Day 16

Day 16 was a day of suspense and wonder, of shock and awe, and then a little bit of writing.

I had another 500 word day (bleh…), 528 to be exact, but revised/edited/wrote a total of 3,476, which means the WIP is much farther along. That pushes it over 50k, up to 52,818 fairly organized story bits. That’s out of 65k. I reclaimed some of the older writing.

Let’s hit the stats!

ACCUMULATED STATS –

  • Word Count: 21,552
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,347
  • Current Writing Streak: 16 days

I currently have nothing planned to interfere with writing tomorrow. I’m heading into the Climax, Act 4. It looks like it may be a 60k novel.

Pulp Speed Writing Day 14

Day 14 started off great, I got up and got a jump on my writing before the rest of the family awakened. I got in 2,507 words, which sadly, is the best I’ve done all week. It didn’t meet my goal of hitting 4k for the day, which means I didn’t exceed the prior week’s writing.

I did have a nice fire pit though (hot dogs and s’mores… mmmm).

Stats for Week 2 –

  • Word count: 9,502
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,357
  • Current Work in Progress Word Count: 64,117 (actually usable: 48,850)

Accumulated Stats –

  • Word Count: 20,449
  • Average Word Count per Day: 1,461
  • Current Writing Streak: 14 days

I kind of like doing the accumulated stats. Maybe I’ll do that daily…

Fun Fact: A quick Google search says it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit (older research says 21 days).

Day 15 brings a solar eclipse. I’ll get my writing accomplished in the afternoon.