Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Miscalculations and Word Counts

Sometimes... a miscalculation can be a good thing.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit obsessed with word count on my current project. I just think it's fascinating how I started with 0, and every time I sit down to work, the number climbs, sometimes higher than expected! It's just a rewarding part of the experience for me... my efforts all tidied up into a compact yet telling number.

This past week, I've been doing lazy math with my WIP word count. I use Scrivener, so each of my chapters are separate. I see individual word count, but not whole manuscript word count (which would be inaccurate anyway because I write all sorts of notes in one "chapter" slot and also put everything I cut into another slot). I have to add everything up by hand for the grand total. Well, last night, I thought I was about 500 words from 40,000, but today I added everything up on a new sheet of paper with pretty pen colors, and then added it again... because my actual current word count is 41,151!!

It's such a spiffy feeling to know I've written more than I thought I did. Makes working toward the next goal of 45k that much more exciting (and closer!). Seriously, seeing these higher numbers, I'm making even MORE time to write. Staying up late... sitting at my computer when I really should be house cleaning. And the story itself is starting to really swing too, so that helps ;)

What about you? Ever write more than you thought you did and got excited about it? Do you even pay attention to word count until after your first draft is done? Or does word count motivate you, like it does me?

11 comments:

  1. Way to go! Keep up the good work :)

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  2. Good job! I don't pay attention to word count. I suppose I should, but I work in sections or chapters instead of number of words. It works for me.

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  3. I love it when that happens! But it also happens the other way sometimes: I think I've written more than I have. That's not fun, LoL!

    Keep it up and have fun! :)

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  4. I'm so obsessed with word count! I would be so happy if that happened to me. :)

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  5. I'm obsessed too, but not until I get toward the final draft. My current project started at 67,000 for a first draft. In these major revisions(I'm rewriting the entire book), I've cut over 10,000 so far and want a final of 80,000. This is when I start to get obsessed :)

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  6. Sometimes I'm glad when I write more words than I imagined I would. Mostly, though, I am wary of word count, mainly because I write contemporary YA and I always worry about word count climbing too high! Weird, I know.

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  7. Way to go! =o)

    When I'm cranking words out, I keep track of my words count for the day and overall. (In Excel - yeah, I know. I'm a geek.) I'm less concerned with the overall count than with daily through the first draft, though.

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  8. If you've got so many more words, how come I haven't read any of them yet? ;)

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  9. I get so obsessed by word counts, it's ridiculous. LOL! Yes, they definitely motivate me in the first draft. Then they frighten me in subsequent drafts because usually I'm trying to get them DOWN and they keep going UP.

    Good job, Kristin! Keep plugging away!

    Amy

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  10. That's a lot of words--yay! I get really obsessive about word count, especially when I'm doing NaNo (or Camp Nano, as the case may be). It's SO satisfying to see those numbers climbing!

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