Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's Your WPH (words per hour)?

I remember when I took typing in high school. We worked on typing fast and increasing our wpm (words per minute). While I can now type 70 wpm, I sometimes struggle with my WPH...words per hour.

I know many of you have heard about #1K1HR on Twitter. You type in the # hashtag, then 1K1HR and write as fast as you can, trying to get 1000 words on the page in one hour. There is even a 1K1HR Facebook page where you can participate if you aren't on Twitter.

While I was re-reading From the Inside...Out: discover, create, and publish the novel in you! by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck, I read something that helped me break down writing a novel and the WPH I need. Here is what I found:

Let's assume you have 12 weeks to write a 30-chapter book, with approximately 3000 words per chapter. That's 1500 words per scene. That's six pages per writing session, 180 minutes per scene. That's thirty minutes a page. ( p. 74)

Just think...if you were able to do 1000 words in one hour, you could do this:

Time Writing Per Day
Words Written Per Day
Days to Write a Novel
1 hour a day
90 days
2 hours a day
45 days
3 hours a day
30 days

You may not write fast and that's okay. Some days I can spit out those 1000 WPH, and some days it just doesn't happen. But having a goal and having a plan of action is important as we set out to write our stories. You know the old saying - "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." You gotta have a plan!

What is your plan? Or what is your average WPH?

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is wife to "Pastor John" and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Debra E. Marvin said...

When I sit and do a 1k1hr, I like to have a good idea of the scene and then I can write about 1400 words in that hour. Mostly dialog and a lot of telling. But it's there and I can then edit it. Forcing yourself to do the hour makes such a difference.

I'm a plotter though... yet the dialogue often reveals the characters to me so I don't feel at all stymied. Revising is slow work but the dialog doesn't change much.

chihuahuazero said...

My average WPM when typing a novel is usually around 45-55.

On the other hand, if I'm typing down any old thought without worrying about mistakes (or even if I do), my MPM shoots up toward 60-70.

But I love the idea of 1k1hr, if that time includes revising. The problem is that I'm too lazy to plan an entire hour toward myself and stick toward novel writing the entire way through.

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts, Sherrinda. :) I loved doing NaNo last November, and set a goal, and exceeded it. But, planning things ahead of time was key for me being productive.

I've enjoyed the 1K1Hr on fb. I can usually spit out 1100-1500 words in an hour. My current goal is to fast draft my novel, writing 3,000 per day. Hoping to be done when the kids finish with school so I have the summer to revise. :)

Debra E. Marvin said...

I agree, Jeanne. Revise Revise Revise. At least you can edit and revise a few moments here and there if you have a chapter written!

Erica Vetsch said...

I love #1k1hr on FB. My usual speed is about 1K per hour, so it works out great. :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

Nice! I'm reading Inside Out right now for the first time. Lots of great insights!

I think I write about 1,000 words an hour (if I have my chapters planned out). So when I write my next book, I plan to do about 10,000 words per week (1,000 words per hour at 2 hours per day for 5 days per week = about 8 weeks for 80,000 words). It can be hard when you're in the midst of it, but awesome to have that fast draft done in 2 months (especially since I work full time!).

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

I shoot for 1000 words per day. One helpful ingredient also comes from MBT, When you start a chapter, ask your character what they plan to do. It may vary from what was planned, but it could be better.

Pepper said...

Oooh, love this!
And a great kick in the pants too, Sherrinda.

I shoot for whatever I can get. But I can get 1K in an hour...sometimes more

Ashley Clark said...

Sherrinda, such a great post! Too often I allow myself to get distracted and discouraged by looking at the big picture instead of breaking up the story into chunks, especially at the beginning of a project. It's so helpful to create smaller, more attainable goals.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Debra, 1400 wph is amazing! And whatever you can get down in that amount of time is always workable! You go, girl!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Chihuahua Zero, I'm like you. If I can block out my internal editor, I can write a lot faster. Sometimes it's hard to not want to fix everything! And you definitely need to not feel selfish and make time for that hour of writing! :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jeanne, I'm soooo impressed! 3000 words a day is not easy, but at your wph, I'm sure you can do it! Woohoo!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Debra, you said it the magic word! Revise! Writing fast means you will definitely has some revisions to make!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Erica, I'm surprised. As many books as you spit out, I was sure your WPH would be off the charts! You must do a ton of 1K1HRs per day! ;)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Lindsay, I love your idea! I work outside the home and so sometimes I struggle to find the energy to write. If I could just push through 2 hours a night, I could be like you and get a book finished in no time! :)

Can I be a copy cat?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mary, I love that helpful hint. I am really trying to plot out better this go around to help me not have so many writer's blocks. :) Been working through My Book Buddy, filling in all the charts and questions.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Pepper, you queen of writing wherever-whenever! I bet it's easy for you to spit out 1000k in an hour. Your mind whirling all the time with ideas!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Ashley, definitely! Small goals = success. I'm like you...the big picture paralyzes me, and then I just give up. Not a good thing! Small chunks are perfect.

Lindsay Harrel said...

Go for it, Sherrinda! Another good idea, if you don't have 2 hours together, is to break it up into two 1-hour sessions. Options include waking up early and getting in an hour there, using your lunch break, and then obviously the evening. I am trying to start doing an hour in the mornings and then an hour on my lunch break, with the occasional hour in the evening (my husband teaches on Thursday nights, so that seems to be a good time to do it).

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Lindsay, I've thought about staying at work and writing, but I would need to find a quiet place with no distractions for me to do that! I may give it a go!

Unknown said...

I'm going to have to try this someday (soon) ... My biggest problem is that I have the shortest attention span in the world; so even with fast fingers on the keys, I have faster eyes, always finding something new to grab my attention and--Oh, look, shoes! (hee-hee) :D

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

LOLOLOL!!!! Khara, you are funny! That reminds of the movie UP and the dogs...."Squirrel"!!!! (I need to watch that again)

What if you set a timer for 15 minutes and tried to get 250 words in? Go look at your shoes and then set the timer for another 15 minutes. :) You could do the short spurt challenge!

Tracy Krauss said...

Very interesting... through my NaNoWriMo experience, I usually average over 1000 words per hour (maybe 1200) but these are totally unedited and very ROUGH. I don't think I could keep up a pace of actually writing a polished novel at that speed.

Bonnee Crawford said...

Sometimes the 1000 words will happen for me and sometimes it won't. My plan is to create deadlines and focus on my work so that I meet the deadlines.