Statistics, Milestones, and Statistics

— November 28, 2011 (8 comments)
As of this morning (last night for you in the Americas), the first draft of Post-Apocalyptic Dragon-Riding Ninjas (with Mechs!) is finished, and I can breathe a big sigh of relief. Not because the work is done (far, FAR from it), but because drafting is my least favorite part of the process.

To celebrate, I'm posting these pre-revision statistics on the four finished novels I have sitting on my computer. (What, you don't think statistics are fun? Perhaps you've mistaken this blog for someone else's.)

I also submit these in the hope they will encourage any of you who feel you write slow: It Gets Better.

Time to Draft: 4.5 years, both planning and writing (mostly writing).
Outline: None (GASP!), but lots of notes.
Draft Length: 76,000 words.
Avg Drafting Speed: About 1,600 words/month.

Time to Draft: 19 months.
Outline: 244 words.
Draft Length: 100,000 words. 
Avg Drafting Speed: 5,200 words/month.

Time to Draft: 9 months.
Outline: 5,500 words (if you think I'm proud of that, read on; it gets better).
Draft Length: 48,000 words. 
Avg Drafting Speed: 5,300 words/month.

Time to Draft: 4 months.
Outline: 9,100 words (<--- !!).
Draft Length: 79,000 words. 
Avg Drafting Speed: 19,800 words/month.

I'm not quite at NaNoWriMo speeds yet, but I am finally at a place where I feel like I could produce a book a year, if I had to. You know, if someone wanted to pay me to do that (do you think that's too subtle?)

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  1. Wow--those are impressive stats! It's neat to see the inverse relation between drafting speed and outline length. Congratulations on finishing your draft, and good luck with revisions!

  2. Sweet mercy, you were ripping along (and it's not just my imagination)! For my NaNo project I'm drafting now (44k and counting), I had 13,831 words of official outline, not counting easily another 5-7k of notes. I hope to have the second half of the book drafted by Christmas. If I wasn't a true believer about plotting before, I would be just looking at your pretty stats!

  3. Sounds great, Adam! In the back of my mind I'm trying to work towards a book a year speeds too, but I'm not quite there yet. Also, it means I'd have to stay in 15th Century Europe since I've done all the research - but I've got an idea for a story set in 1930s Canada and another set in 1910s Istanbul. Sigh.

  4. Congrats, Adam! I love the stats, and I love seeing how much faster you have gotten. That's really cool. Four months is a great time for a first draft.

    I guess practice really does pay off, doesn't it? Sigh, I guess that means I'll have to keep working and stop slacking off.

  5. Wow, you ARE picking up speed. Good job, Adam!

    Congrats on being done with that first draft. :) I'm working on finishing mine up right now. The end is always the hardest for me.

  6. Thanks so much for this, Adam. Speaking as someone whose first draft took 5 years and the subsequent drafts have taken another twelve.... God, that's depressing.

  7. OMG, why didn't I read this post before I posted my Archives whine-fest? I probably would have been forced to come up with a more interesting post :).

    This is awesome. All I see on Twitter is how fast people are writing. I guess people brag about their successes and hide many of their shortcomings. It's nice to see that we're all more alike than we realize sometimes. And congrats on FOUR completed manuscripts!