Is half a million words per year normal for a writer?

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Goal achieved.

Acer Switch half million words

Fifty-four short stories and a 60K First Draft later, I finally reached my target, with three weeks of 2015 still to go.

*celebrates*

Entering NaNoWriMo for the first time this year probably helped me to hit the magic number a little earlier than I would have.

half a million

My average for the year to date was around 1,400 words per day (very much an average. Some days were noticeably better than others), and November’s average was a little over 1,700 per day.  I would still have reached the half million, but the race would have been much closer to the wire.

The obvious question now hangs over me:

Can I do it again in 2016? Would I want to?

The answer would largely depend on how much work I can bring in. 2015 has been particularly fruitful for short story projects. Upwork.com has been an excellent source of clients, keeping me busy for the entire year. If I work as hard as I did in 2015, half a million is possible.

1209718_84380950

Over the past few months, I’ve begun to wonder what the ‘normal’ output is for a writer, particularly someone who writes full time. For the record, I also have a full-time job. I was speaking to Sheila Quigley, another North-East (England) writer  about my endeavours. When I told her about my target, she stared at me, then blew out a long breath.

I got the impression that 500k is not the norm. :)

I’m relatively fortunate in that I work away from home and have my evenings free from distractions as I write in my hotel room. When I’m not away, I find it tricky to concentrate with the TV on (not my choice) all the time.

So, what is everyone else producing over twelve months? I’d be interested in hearing from both full-time and part-time writers. How do you manage to keep up the pace when you work AND live with a family? What’s your routine?

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Half a million words in a year?

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source; Stock.Xchng

source; Stock.Xchng

Back in June, I wrote a blog post about my aim to achieve Quarter of a Million words by midsummer. That particular goal was achieved, and more, so I looked ahead and wondered if it would be madness to aim for half a million before the end of 2015.

Crazy, I thought. Half a million?

Now, at the time of writing, I’ve somehow (and it still amazes me) racked up 410,000 real words, most of them the in order right.

(Yes, I know I did the same joke back in June) *shrugs.*

So, at this point, half a million words before the year end seems achievable. My target for the end of September (this week), if I had been writing consistently, was 375,000. Bang. Blown that figure out of the water.

How have I been able to put down so many words this year? Having a whole string of contracted short stories to write has been a major part of this, leaving me with no shortage of writing material. Got a block? Simply skip over to another story until the block passes.

The downside of all this is that my third book, and the last in the trilogy, ‘A Fury of Angels,’ has slipped behind schedule, so if I’m to complete it in time for my editor to savage (kidding!) in January, I need to put aside at least a month to complete it.

If only I had a cloning machine…

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Live action book trailer for A Construct of Angels.

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film-clapper jaylopez

image courtesy of jaylopez at Stock Xchng, modified by Andrew Toynbee

 

In the past few days, I’ve released several teaser trailers for ‘A Construct of Angels,’ my live-action trailer.

Now here’s the full video, which has gone through many phases of editing, as well as a beta review by several friends.

A Construct of Angels (novel).

camera-gianni testore

image courtesy of gianni testore at Stock Xchng

As with writing, it’s only once you embark on making something like this, do you realise how many people become involved. Creating something as complex as a novel or a short movie requires patience, dedication and a number of good friends, willing to lend a hand.

There were many other elements I wanted to add to this short trailer, but time, money (i.e. the lack of it) and a wish to see this released on September 16th, the day the first book begins, all led to the video being wrapped up in late August, with a few last-minute edits (inevitably).

I hope you like it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time to make a sequel, but who knows? If the response is encouraging, then it would be worthwhile.

Until then, I endeavour to Write On…

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Paperbacks galore!

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Voa Paperbacks

The first complete copies of A Vengeance of Angels have arrived in the UK, courtesy of Amazon CreateSpace, drawing a neat line under the story and declaring it to be completed.

My first book suffered from a case of couldn’t-leave-it-alone-itis. However, with some thanks to the timetable set by my editor, the second book will not suffer this fate.

With ‘Vengeance’ in print, I am content to leave it alone – barring the surfacing of any undiscovered typos, of course.

So now, I am determined to crack on with the third book in the trilogy and:

acern270ginger write on

USA: Buy A Vengeance of Angels

UK: Buy A Vengeance of Angels

 

 

Christmas special offer for U.S.A. and Canada.

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sonya's paperback banner xmas

Signed copies now available to US and Canadian residents.

***bonus perk***

Buy A Construct of Angels, get an eCopy of A Vengeance of Angels free!

image courtesy of marczini at Stock Xchng

 Yaaay!

(Oh, if you’re resident in any other country, and would like a signed copy plus the perk,

please contact me in the comments section or PM me via Facebook.)

acern270ginger write on

 

Synchronicity?

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Image courtesy of ba1969 at StockXchng

In an odd turn of events, I find myself incapacitated and stuck at home, exactly fifteen years after a similar event kick-started my writing.

Those who know my story might remember that a week-long illness gave me the time I needed to collate all my scattered notes onto my first-ever laptop. This was the start of my first ‘real’ writing project, the still-to-be-completed ‘Homeworld.’ (I will complete this one day, when I’ve cleared a few other projects.)

Now, after eight weeks immobilised, resting my crocked leg, my Muse crept up behind me, placed her hands over my eyes and whispered: “I have a great idea. Wanna hear it?”

And so she delivered an entire story, possibly an 80k novel, into my shell-like ear. I’m 99.8% certain (in life, there’s always room for a little doubt) the idea would never have come to me if I’d been working.

I’m optimistic that this new story has legs and will come together pretty quickly. It’s a quiet little British adventure story (provisionally titled ‘Pink Camper Van’) that made me smile as it unfolded. At the time of posting, I’ve already written 2,000 words, and I have a firm conclusion in mind, meaning this particular tale won’t end up as one of my infamous neverending stories.

As they say, watch this space. And as Monty Python might add: ‘And now for something completely different.’

.

acern270ginger write on

Second paperback almost completed

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jpeg Voa

Those of you who have been reading my posts for a while may remember the troubles I had with my Createspace version of ‘A Construct of Angels.’ Many hours of format tweaking and two proof copies shipped to England from the US finally produced a paperback I was happy to sell.

With my second novel, I have applied the lessons learned and the formatting was completed within a week. A proof copy has been ordered and I hope to hold it in my hands within ten days – less than three weeks after my eBook was released. What a difference a year makes!

I’m also trying something new with this cover – endorsements. Two other indie writers, Candace Knoebel and Sonya Loveday have agreed to let me reproduce their glowing beta reader comments on the back cover. I’m hoping this will do two things. The first is to encourage people to buy my book (always a motivating force), and the second is to provide a little exposure for the ladies as a thank-you. They have both been hugely encouraging over the past three years, helping to propel me towards completing my debut, then my second novel. I’ve enjoyed reading books published by both writers and I’d recommend them without hesitation to other fans of YA fantasy.

Ladies. thank you, and:

acern270ginger write on

 

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