Tag Archives: Statistics

Fifth Book Stats

This will come as a surprise to those of you who know my writing style, but I’ve finished a fifth novel-length story, and it’s not even National Novel Writing Month. My first non-NaNoWrimo book was an experiment to see if I could write the story I chickened out of writing last year in favor of something more familiar. The experiment turned out well, and even without the NaNoWrimo pressure, it got done within a month. A young adult dark fantasy novel, it does a lot of things that pushed me as a writer. One of those things was writing a novel-length story in first-person POV. I used to use first-person all the time when writing short stories, but when I moved to novel-length, I made the switch to third-person limited and haven’t gone back since.

One of the biggest difficulties is keeping the character voice consistent. Because the character is now speaking through you as the writer, you end up casting your current moods and attitudes onto the character, which isn’t fair to the character because they’ve only had a few hours of novel-life to cope with what could be weeks of your life. I think I managed to keep it under control, but the first edits will reveal how well I did.

As usual, I kept detailed stats on the writing of the novel in case it sheds some light on the novel writing process, and, after five of them, it might shed some light on how a writer’s speed, etc. evolves over the years. I’ll add more statistics after I finish all of the editing drafts, so for now, this is just for the raw first draft.

Here we go with the statistics!

FIRST DRAFT
Time: 1975 mins (32.9 hours)
Words:  51,086 words (~204 pages)
Pace: 25.9 wds /minute
*vs. 24.7 wds / minute on Book Four
*vs. 23.5 wds / minute on Book Three
Fastest Pace: 37.0 wds / minute, working outside
*edges out my previous record of 36.9 on Book Four
Slowest Pace: 18.2 wds / minute, also working outside
*much faster than my slowest 8.9 on Book Four

For more details on the other books, check out the previous posts on Book Four and Book Three.

Third Book Stats

I’ve finally finished the fourth draft of my latest novel-length story, which I started on November 1st of last year, as I’ve done in years past. Considering I finished the fourth draft of my previous novel-length story in October of last year, I’ve gotten a lot faster. Some of that is due to more experience with planning, some of it is better initial writing = less editing, and some of it is moving into a better writing routine. This time around, I took detailed notes on how long I spent on the different parts, so I’m posting those statistics in case you find them interesting or instructive. One thing of note is that editing takes a whole lot longer than writing (which it should).

1st Draft (writing to get it done!)
Started Nov 1st, 2012 and Finished Dec 13th, 2012
Total Word Count: 75,741 words
Words by NaNoWriMo Nov 30th Deadline: 66,770 words
Total Hours Spent: 53.8 hours (3,228 minutes)
Average Pace: 23.5 words / minute
Best Pace: 37.9 words / minute on my old 10 minute train ride to work
* other train days were similarly high pace, but likely lower quality because of the rushed nature
Worst Pace: 11.6 words / minute working from home
* other “working from home” days were similarly bad

Second Draft  (edit to fill in scenes, address “notes for later”, and redo the outline):
Started December 18th, 2012 and Finished March 18th, 2013
New Total Word Count: 86,456 words
* more due to fleshing out certain events & characters which I had left rough
Total Hours Spent: 49.8 hours (2,985 minutes)
Average Pace: 28.9 words / minute

Third Draft (edit for content and flow):
Started March 19th, 2013 and Finished June 7th, 2013
New Total Word Count: ? words
* I didn’t keep a copy of the third draft because it tied so closely into the fourth,
but assuming it’s halfway in length between the 2nd and 4th, I’ll put it at 91,776 words
Total Hours Spent: 56.8 hours (3,409 minutes)
Average Pace: 26.9 words / minute

Fourth Draft (edit for consistency and wording):
Started June 10th, 2013 and Finished July 1st, 2013
New Total Word Count: 97,095
* Most of these words were required to improve the flow of certain sections or to address consistency issues
Total Hours Spent: 23.3 (1,400 mins)
Average Pace: 69.4 words / minute

Project Total:
Started on November 1st, 2012 and Finished on July 1st, 2013
Total Hours Spent: 183.7 hours (11022 minutes)
Total Words: 97,095 (roughly 389 pages at the industry standard 250 words / page)
Total Avg Words / Minute: 8.8 words / minute

Of course this still leaves a good old fashioned copy edit to ferret out mistakes, which will likely take about two weeks.

Previous Book Word Count: 99,348 words