Writing Progress

Progress for a writer is a difficult thing to measure. Do you measure words? That’s one popular way. And it can help definitely. There are days I can easily spit out a few thousand words that are well-written and make perfect sense. That doesn’t mean I could—if I only applied myself more earnestly—complete a 400 page novel in three months. There are people do that. There’s the whole NaNoWriMo movement.

Write a 50,000 novel in a month. (Why November? What’s so good about writing in November vs., say, June?). But there are very few of those rushed out novels that are great. Or The ones that are good have probably been ruminating inside the head of the author for years.

And I use word counts to drive me. But the only true way to measure where you are in a novel or a screenplay is by story progress. How far from the end are you? How far from the twist that turns the final action.

Here are word counts. They will fluctuate. And sometimes they will even reverse, go down as I edit. But it gives a general sense of progress. Imperfect as it is.