Nicola Monaghan's news, events and general thoughts about life and writing.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

A thousand words a day...

It's just a good number...

A friend of mine who had been struggling to finish a novel for a while, and had started and stalled with several projects, suddenly overcame the block simply by setting herself this target; a thousand words a day.

I'm going to sound sickening, I'm sure, when I say I've never really had writers' block. I've always managed to write what I've needed to without setting myself targets. I've been able to go when it flowed and do enough to make up for those days when I'm only fit for editing. But talking to my friend made me wonder if perhaps I should try this thousand word target and see how it felt, for research if nothing else.

And, I have to say, it works. A thousand words. It's only about three pages, A4, double spaced. It's not that intimidating. Type for a bit, type for a bit more. Add a word, repeat times a thousand. A couple of scenes. About a third of a chapter. When you're rolling, you can knock it out in ten minutes.

A thousand words a day and you have a full length novel or, at least, a draft of one in a few months. That's pretty darn good.

So there you go. You got writers' block? Dr Monaghan prescribes a thousand words a day. Unless it's something viral, that should do the trick :)

I hope to post from NYC. See you there.


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