Wednesday, 22 October 2008

What is the normal rate of writing a novel

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Hello Anthony. I have a question for you, what is the 'normal' rate of writing a novel? I only seem to get about two to three pages written in a three hour session. My typing speed is about normal, so what am I doing wrong? Is this a normal rate or am I super slow?

Hi Andy, thanks for sending this question in. First off let me say there's no such thing as a 'normal' rate of writing. Everyone has his or her own comfort zone. I know some super-fast writers, whose work is hardly earth shattering. On the other hand, I know of writers who’ve taken years to produce a novel, but the end result has been a best seller.

Do you plan your writing?

I fully advocate making an outline before you even begin to write. Planning really can help you to be more efficient. Planning helps you know where the book is heading. It can be as detailed or as sketchy as you like, but making a plan means there’s less likelihood of writing yourself into a corner or spending hours staring at a blank screen.

One more thing, don’t be tempted to edit as you go along. Editing as you work can seriously slow you down. Get words down, finish the book before coming back to edit. The time to make your work perfect is the polishing stage – and that can be longer than the original writing.

Please don't worry about your production rate. Just do your own thing – oh, and don't forget to enjoy it. Writing is about enjoyment not worrying about time-scales.

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