How much can you write in a day? This is a question that I keep returning to as I plan to write the sequel to Fallen Warriors. I wrote the first draft of The Great Scottish Land Grab in a month, writing an average of 2,300 words a day for 22 days in November 2011. It took me two and a half hours each day to write that.
But, then I ended up ditching half of that novel – easily 25,000 words – as I rewrote and edited the final version.
In theory I know I can write 5,000 words a day, but what is the point if I then need to discard half of that?
Well, on the plus side, you never know exactly what will work until you try. It is sometimes only during the writing that the story becomes clear, that the characters start to live. We change as writers as we become more experienced. The fact is that both for Land Grab and Fallen Warriors, during the rewrite, I added new scenes and extended existing scenes, essentially writing a new first draft that was actually good enough to become the final draft.
The hope is that having set up the background in Fallen Warriors Season One, having a pre-existing backstory and characters, that writing the sequel will be less work.
I will have child care responsibilities during the summer so am planning to get up at Six each morning, write for five hours plus a one hour break, and then leave the writing for the rest of the day.
My plan is to write 1,000 words an hour.
I expect I will take a couple of weeks off during the nine weeks that make up July and August, so I will only have seven weeks available to write.
Five thousand times five days times seven weeks = 175000 words…
Okay, I’m actually planning to write first drafts of both novels, Season Two and Season Three this summer.
Is it achievable?
I won’t know until I try, but in theory it should be.
The real benefit though is that it allows me to ensure that both plots are consistent, that there is an overall story arc connecting the three seasons and gives me more flexibility to end Season Two at an appropriate stage that will hopefully satisfy readers and leave them hooked for Season Three.
Anyway, that’s my plan for writing the sequel to Fallen Warriors and an estimate of how many words I’m planning to write each day. How much can you write in a day?