New to Scrivener - hello!

Hi all,
I’m relatively new to Scrivener but absolutely love it (Windows user, haven’t made the leap to Mac yet). I have been looking through the boards recently and thought it was high time to say hello.


It looks like a great place to talk to fellow writers.

One question I had - how much do each of you write per day. I have been writing on and off for a number of years but now want to really try may hand at fiction, so have set myself a task of 1000 per day which I have kept to for the past week, quite easily actually. I started a thriller story novel last week and have no idea where I’m going with it! I usually like to plot but set myself a challenge to just write the story as it comes and see where it takes me, if only to push myself to get a first draft done, as finishing projects tends to be my issue. Short stories are okay, but longer projects like a novel and I tend to lose interest and search for something new, purely because I don’t push myself through the slump. So will see where this little experiment takes me. Over the last 10 days I’ve hit 12459 words so at the least this challenge is getting me writing again.

So, what sort of challenges do other people set themselves, and have any yielded exciting results?

Hiya Raz :wink:

:confused: :frowning: Some real weirdos aboard Scriv, Raz… real weirdos! Be careful!

[size=150][1] :unamused: PANDORA’S BOX Raz… PANDORA’s BOX :open_mouth:
Welcome aboard Scriv, Raz (too late to-do anything about it now!)
Ahh well… c’est la vie… eh?


  1. /size ↩︎


I can’t speak for others, but I try not to judge my output in terms of words. Sometimes my time will be spent plotting, or brainstorming new ideas. Every now and again I’ll just spend an hour telling myself the story in my head (kind of like watching it as a mental movie) to test if it’s working or see if anything happens that surprises me this time. I guess in some ways that’s my equivalent of doing a first draft.

But if it’s volume metrics you’re after, I have it on good authority that Admiral of the Fleet Blount is capable up producing comfortably over 4,000 words a day if the wind is in his sails.

Thanks for the welcome fellas!

Vic - yeah, but then opening Pandora’s box always makes things more interesting. :wink: And I can handle weird…I think.

Pigfender - and do you find that telling yourself the story in your head works well? Suppose it just takes the same concentration you would need if brainstorming. I can see it working, though I’d need to shut myself off and put on some music that got me into the relevant frame of mind. I’m far too easily distracted :smiley: I’ve only set myself this challenge so that it makes me write consistently, and on a daily basis. I was far too wishy-washy before. If I can get into the routine and get myself disciplined, then I’m hoping this will lead to more finished projects (of all types) and therefore more submissions to learn from.


What, you wanted more on the above point? Ok.

Yes, I find it helps. It highlights missing chunks. It allows me to focus on things like story, plot and
narrative (yes, they’re the same thing but they’re important so warrant the emphasis) without worrying about things like dialogue (too much) and phrasing that might otherwise bog me down.

It makes it obvious to me which bits I really enjoy and can run with for longer without have the readership get all hissy on me. It gives the characters (good and bad) the opportunity to do things in the moment (good and bad), rather than to a pre-ordained plan.

In other words, it does all the things (for me) that other people do in a first draft, but without taking months before realising that some bits aren’t working, or the whole thing needs a re-think. But, then again, you’re talking to a guy whose had three (relatively) widely read books without ever taking them to first draft. There’s a cryptic thought to leave you with.

When I was writing my doctoral thesis, I aimed for 500 words per day and had a wall chart to record the length of my writing chains. A “chain” was the number of consecutive days I met my writing target (my record was 55 days).

When I write fiction, I tend to write more since I don’t have to fact check and reference every other sentence. However, apart from the last two Novel In A Day projects (which is, perhaps, a cryptic clue), I haven’t done as much fiction writing the last few years. I’m hoping to change this in 2015 (yes, I am planning that far in advance) and will start my writing chain again.

Without a daily target and a writing chain, my daily word count usually averages closer to zero. Unlike pigfender, I need to write in order to build momentum. Often I write irredeemable pap, but usually I can either find something good within it or the process of writing it will help me resolve an issue I couldn’t simply think my way through.

Oh, and, “Hello”. :smiley:



The problem with what you stated as your gaol, the statement, not the idea, is that you haven’t articulated what a “word” is. This isn’t a Clintonesque argument so hear me out.

My "word output on a given day is in the area of about 20K. This is for EVERYTHING I write. Emails, blogs, snarky replies to vic-k, etc. Those words clearly do not count. When I ass-chair in front of scrivener, 5K words happens before I even get to the idea I wanted to write about (I’m a hobbyist so it is ALL free-for-all structurally). Then I typically do another 2K into the idea. Clearly not all 7k of those words count. Once I’m done getting the brain vomit onto the screen I do my own “this is sh!t” editing and wind up at about 1K. Then I send it to my daugditor (daughter is the most vicious editor on the planet) and get back a page with, if I’m luck, 200-300 words left (my favorite was when she sent me back a document that was blank, I raised that one right!).

So how many words did I write?

The only reason I bring this up is that one Sean Coffee once said, and I’m paraphrasing,

He may not have originated the idea, but it is accurate. A word count only matters when you are looking to force yourself to write. Much like forcing an amorous relationship, forced writing is likely to be less than the ideal for someone. So if you do use targets, which I do, then set them high enough to get you into the flow of writing where it becomes less of an effort. Then you are more likely to get something usable than stiff, awkward prose.

Again, I am not a professional. I don’t make money based on my writing (emails, mgmt presentations don’t count). I have no right to provide an opinion. But that has never stopped me before, why should it stop me now?

*[size=75]This was the origin of “ass-chair” if you were curious.[/size]

Hmmm. Can’t help but notice the lack of an “Unlike pigfender” at the beginning of “Often I write irredeemable pap”. Daaaaaang.

This is the other side of the point that I was inelegantly expressing. In the same way that not every word you write will make it to the final piece, not every thing that you do that moves you towards your final position has a word count attached to it. In other words, word counts are a blunt tool (but still a tool).

Is your daughter “Floss”?

As I get older I find myself agreeing with Jaysen more and more. Proof, if proof were needed, that senility is a real condition. :wink:

No. Then she would be soft and cuddly at times. Daughditor is more the WB whirling dervish Tasmanian devil variant of a porcupine crossed with Marvel’s Wolverine. And the cross has all the mean parts left in. Someday that girl will meet her match and develop a soft side. I’m hoping that is delayed a bit. I can’t afford a wedding right now.

You mean vic-k’s and my existence wasn’t enough proof?

Pandora’s box is open, so…

I don’t set a daily word count goal, but I record how much I’ve written. On average, it’s about 300 words of edited text. Nearly a page per day.

The word count for me is purely what goes into the project I’m working on - so the 1000 words is what goes into the draft. Any other typing or writing is just part of my day to day life. Sure, it will need editing and revising, no question, but that’s part of the process.

Good to see all the different ideas and methods that people use. I know its a case of ‘whatever works’, and that will be different from one writer to the next. As I haven’t found my perfect method yet, I’m giving this a go. It’s worked to a point - I’ve been writing every day and the 1000 words isn’t too difficult to hit, despite being self employed in a profession separate to writing and working silly hours. At the very least if I’m writing then I’m honing my craft.

I’m curious to try mentally plotting it first, as Pigfender does, so I may try that with a few short stories that I want to write to see how it works for me.

All experimentation at the minute.

I’m sure when I find the method that suits me best I’ll write an amazing novel, sell it for huge amounts to a publisher, then to a producer and get the screenplay optioned, make bazillions from the movie and buy a yacht. Then probably sink the yacht…I’m not good with yachts.

I think this is an excellent story for a novel :slight_smile:

Haha - Deep Water 2: Deeper Water


the only way to make an idea more dangerous is to replace the “Pigfender” with “Jaysen” or “Vic-k” or “Wock”. I would say you’re well on your way to a state of mental corruption.

Anyone who wants to replace me is more than welcome to give it a go.

Including your role as head of NiaD 2014? :unamused:

Which further proves my point about piggy.

I’m just a humble servant.

That’s polite psychology for you. If I’d mentioned you in that sentence, then regardless of the words used, your name would have been associated with “irredeemable pap”. Instead, “pigfender” is associated with “momentum” and “nom” is associated with “irredeemable pap”.

How about I promise to associate both of you with “irredeemable pap”?