Breaking down big numbers

Posted on April 10, 2013


Last week I was going through Jay Lake’s daily link dump and clicked on one about the Hugo nominations.  Apparently, if women authors, non white authors or books that aren’t grimdarky are nominated the world is ending.  I’ve read two of this year’s nominations, and have a third sitting on my Nook.  I don’t know that Redshirts or Throne of a Crescent Moon are the best of sci fi and fantasy this year but I haven’t read better.  I think the Hugos are just fine.

That’s not what I want to talk about.  One of Jay’s links led me to Cora Buhlert’s blog.  One of the links in that post led to to Jim Hine’s blog.  Speaking of, his guest post here helped kick me off my ass and start posting again last week.  So thanks.  After reading their posts about the Hugos I started rooting around their blogs and one of them had this link about the creation of Hawkmoon.

16000 to 20000 is a lot of words per day.  That is an intimidating wall of text.  If I wanted to I would feel ridiculous that some of the greatest works of fantasy were churned out in a holiday weekend and I’m struggling to finish…


Math to the rescue!

If I’m transcribing I can hit 80 wpm with errors.  Error free drops it somewhere between 50 and 60.  Call it 40 if I’m making everything up as I go along.  40 wpm is 2400 words per hour.  Do that for 8 hours and it’s 19200 words.  Of a sudden, 20000 words per day doesn’t seem so horribly impossible, at least from a logistics standpoint.

I’m not going to argue that writing creatively is different and harder.  For me it seems to be.  For others, I don’t know.  This flows very easily for me.  When I’m working on fiction it frequently feels like my brain is bleeding into my eyeballs.

But what the hell.  I think I’ll give it a try.  I have a certification exam in two weeks and after that I’ll defrag for a week.  Get my mind back into create mode.  I have the outlining I need done.  I have the notes I need.  I just need to put words into a harddrive.

So I’ll take a Friday off.  Send the kids to daycare while the spouse is working.  Write for 8 hours.  Saturday and Sunday I’ll go to a library or where ever I need to be to get away from the family and write for 8 hours.  We’ll see what happens.

That is all.



Posted in: Writing