Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fudging The Word Count

If you're anything like me as a writer, you have a daily word count goal, and likely a total word count goal for your novel.  Some of us sweat over whether or not we'll reach it for the day so we can stay on track to our targeted finish date.  For Fight Or Flight, I'm currently on a 1200 a day count, which will allow me to finish the novel by Labor Day.

However, there are times I find myself cheating.

Some days I'm really feeling it - my outline is far enough out so that I don't outrun it, I'm at a critical juncture, and the creative juices are flowing.  On days like that, I regret stopping, for I know that breaking the inertia can be a chore in and of itself.  But, I have a regular job for the moment, I have to sleep, and others in my life need my attention as well.

On other days, I struggle, as most writers do.  This is when I cheat just a bit.  I find myself substituting phrases for words or adding descriptors that might be a reach.  I will re-read a passage and loathe going back to change it since that will mean re-doing the words and the count I've already achieved.  I'm not saying it's right, only that it has been known to happen.

Of course, deep down, I know that cheating like this is pointless since I'll change it in the editing process anyway.  Therefore, if I'm going to change it anyway, why do I persist in doing it wrong the first time?  Quite simply, I'm lazy sometimes and I want to reach the daily word count any means necessary.

Any other writers out there find themselves taking shortcuts to reach their word count goal?

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