Consistent, Small Word Counts Will Get Your Novel Finished

courtesy of Bombardier

By Jennifer Blanchard

This post was inspired by fiction author Holly Lisle. Holly has been a full-time fiction writer for 17 years now and she’s been able to do this because she actually sits down and gets her writing done.

A couple days ago, she invited the readers of her blog to join her in writing a novel.

Currently, she’s penning her most recent novel, DTD (this is the abbreviation she uses. I’m not sure what it stands for). She is expecting it to run somewhere around 300,000 words.

Since writing 300,000 words using a consistent, but small word count will take her a while, she has invited her readers who are interested in writing a novel to join her in one of three ways:

  • Beginners: Write your minimum of 250 words, five days a week.
  • Intermediate: Pace Holly. Each night she’ll post her word count for the day. That word count becomes your word count for the next day that you write. You take off on days when she’s off and you’ll likely finish your novel before her (since the typical novel is around 100,000 words and she’s going for triple that).
  • Advanced: Pick your own word count, write five days a week and post your progress updates on her blog.

For more details about Holly’s “rules” for writing your book alongside her, check out her blog, Pocket Full of Words.

I was supposed to start writing my second novel on June 15. I decided I was going to put it off until the end of the summer so I could concentrate on other things (namely this blog and finishing my writing productivity tips book that you all have been asking about and waiting for!).

But with a small, consistent word count, I think I can do both–keep working on the other projects I have going on AND write my second novel.

A small word count ranges from writing 250 to 500 words on five days of the week.

That’s it. It’s SO simple.

And writing 250 words is a breeze. Two hundred-fifty words is about one page.

Do you think you can write one page of fiction a day? Do you want to write along with Holly and me? Have you ever written in small word counts? How did it work for you?


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