Latest News

Whipping Out a Mighty Word Count

Hey guys, and happy November!

As far as NaNo goes, I'm one of those people sort of in between doing and not doing it. I want to get a LOT of writing done this month, but am not exactly pressuring myself to get a specific word count every day. I'm still hoping for serious progress though.

That's what I wanted to write about today- making serious progress on the good old WIP. It's no secret that the more often you write, the easier it will become to get a higher word count per sitting, but is it possible to make a conscious effort to go even further than that? To put a handful of hours aside, sit down, and force out a LOT of words? They say that mastering that skill will really help you with deadlines if you were to ever get published. And while some people find it easy, others (like me, haha) are still trying to figure out how to experience these almost mythical writing binges that produce thousands of words.

I am on a mission, people! And I have a plan.

I feel like there are a few things that can make this easier. For me personally, having the story part outlined out so I can eliminate any potential "what happens next?" moments of hair-pulling agony really helps a lot. Also, snacks. Some that are easy to to eat while you're writing, but some that aren't, too. I mean, have you ever had to pull back from the keyboard for a few minutes to scarf a sandwich? Holy reflection time, Batman.

Other, not-so-easy-to-control methods include attempting to force yourself to always move forward in the story and refrain from obsessively editing as you go. I can't even count how many times I've sat down with the intention of writing and ended up just re-reading and slightly tweaking the passage I wrote the previous sitting. Then the time I set aside runs out and I end up adding a grand total of ten words to the almighty word count. No, that wasn't supposed to happen! I was supposed to tear through the next three chapters!! To whip out 2-7K! WHERE DID I GO WRONG!??!

How does one conquer such a task!? I'm guessing it requires jumping in with both feet, so here I go. There's no telling where this crazy train will lead. Hopefully to a place with a finished draft that's ready to be power-edited into submission (literally, ha!)

Has anyone out there had success with whipping out super mighty word counts? What was your strategy? Caffeine? Sugar? A 'Keep Calm, Write On' card pinned to your wall? I'm so excited to see what you guys have to say!
Amy Lukavics

Amy lurks within the forested mountains of Arizona. When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms. She is the author of Daughters Unto Devils (Harlequin Teen 2015) and The Women In The Walls (Harlequin Teen 2016).

Posts by Amy

website twitter instagram tumblr

  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments


  1. I'm such a slow writer so NaNo is definately a challenge! But I'm realising that this isn't really my kind of writing style - I like that I'm learning to write without the inner editor mouthing off in my ear but trying to write thousands of words in one day is tiring me out a little. I try to do at least a thousand each day and there have been a couple days where I've slacked off. Not to be lazy, just getting household chores and stuff done.

    I'm hoping to reach 10,000 this weekend - so lots of coffee and snacks are in order!

  2. :D I wrote around 20k in one sitting a few times. Oddly enough, those were both days I had been having allergies or getting a cold and had taken a Claritin D...

    I do not recommend this as a method of reaching mad wordcounts, but, clear sinuses and uppers (and a day in which nothing else needs to be done) are ingredients good for getting the words out. The vedic sages knew this. Spicy curry might also be effective.

    Over the summer I had an 8000 word day with no chemical assistance at all! I just knew what needed to happen next and had to get it all down before i forgot. That was in the middle of a streak of 4-6000 word days. My daily goal was 2000, and I was meeting it hard. Of course, the summer was wonderful because I could write all frigging day if I wanted to (except for thursdays, I did Old Irish on thursdays).

    Now that I'm slogging through revisions, I'm wondering if taking a little more time back then would have made this part easier. But I doubt it. You never know if a scene is going to be good or right for the book until you write it and see.

  3. Robin- I am also (slowly) learning to write without that pesky inner's hard sometimes but finding the perfect balance with it can really help move the story forward. And I totally know those 'slacker days' all too well haha.

    Cara- HOLY GUACAMOLE. 20K in one sitting!??! My brain just melted. No, seriously. I'm a huge curry fan too- the spicier the better, so maybe I'll go pick up an order next time I wanna rock the MS. Your word counts are insaaane, girl!!

  4. Great post. Yes, I'm always amazed (and of course totally jealous) of people who can write 5k words in a day! I tend to be a slow and steady 1k a day kind of person. But at least with Nano, I'm forcing myself to do it everyday, so it's a Slow But Steady build up of words. I keep waiting for the magical Amazing Word Count Producing Syndrome to kick in, lol, but it hasn't yet!

  5. My record was 8k in one day, but it wasn't easy. The chapters I had left to write were fully outlined, which helped. But I basically just made myself finish the book.

    I used to be able to write 2-3k a day, easily. But now that I have become an internet addict . . . well, 1k a day is nice. Haha!

    My trick now for whipping out a lot of words is going to a place with no wifi. I take my laptop to the basement of our building and write while I do laundry or go to Duncan Donuts and write. If my internet is off, I can usually get 2k in 2-3hrs, which is nice. Then I feel accomplished, so I don't do it again for weeks. hahaha.


Comments are moderated on posts two weeks old or more -- please send us a tweet if yours needs approval!

Item Reviewed: Whipping Out a Mighty Word Count Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics