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With the draft outline out of the way, you need to start setting your other tasks and targets, of which the most important is the word count target.
A word count target: All successful authors have a daily word count target. I read somewhere that Stephen King writes nearly 2,000 words in a day. For me, I realize that writing 1,000 words (2-3 pages in an A4 sheet paper) in a day is a decent target.
Unless I’m jostling with a serious writer’s block, I find I can easily achieve this target by writing for nearly 2 hours. There are many days when I get into a flow and write more than 1,000 words. Some days I have written 1,500-2,000 words. I think writing the first few hundred words is the most difficult part. After that reaching your target is pretty easy.
Just imagine if you wrote 1,000 words a day. You will be completing a 30,000 word book in just 30 days (a month’s time). If your average is more than 1,000 words then you will be finishing your book in 15-20 days time. This would, however, be just the first rough draft.
A word of caution though. You do need to be extremely disciplined. It is very easy to wander off. You will want to procrastinate. Friends, parties, social media and the Internet can all be major sources of distraction. However, you can very well develop your own strategy to turn each of these distractions into strengths.
Did you notice the extra ‘o’ in the word proof that I just wrote? To avoid embarrassments like these, you need to first proof read your book yourself. Modern word processors have made this task quite easy by underlining spelling mistakes on the fly and then offering suggestions. But beware of auto corrections and the very handy “Find and Repalce” commands.
Once I wanted to change the abbreviation “mins.” by its full form “minutes”, which this command did in a flash. Happy, I even put the book out on Amazon. Then to check how the formatting looked, I “looked inside” the Kindle version.
You can imagine my horror when I found that my great word processor had not only changed “mins.” to “minutes”, but also “vitamins” to “vitaminutes”, whatever that might mean!
That should bring us to the next step of “editing” that I’d try to address in my next post.
Do follow a daily word count schedule? What is your daily word count target?