Writing output and targets

Today the weather is wonderful. In an unusual move for Britain in the Summertime, the sun is shining. Trust it, however, to pick a day where I am due to rig jockey my way up to Carlisle and back. Nevermind. At least I can top up the tan on my right arm.

I’ve been developing the new idea that I spoke briefly about yesterday on the blog. Namely, the sci-fi horror. Developing stuff, for me at least, means thinking about it a lot and sleeping on it. If it is the last thing I’m churning over before I fall asleep, then I’m one of those people who can influence to some extent what they dream about.

In the case of this idea, it’s coming together and I’ve got the ‘alien’ or ‘monster (whichever you like to call it) worked out. The trick with good horror of any kind is to hide the monster as much as possible and leave a person’s imagination to fill in the gaps. It’s more efective that way. Take, for instance, Jaws. Quite scary until you see the shark then it just sucked. Well, in my opinion. I’ve come up with the perfect monster that you never quite see, only see the effect of. It’s a simple idea, but until I’ve started writing it down I’m going to keep it to myself. Ain’t I a stinker?!

A few people have asked me about my writing output; what it is and do I have targets. Today being a work day today, I only aim for 1,000 words instead of the usual 2,000 to 3,000 that I would like to get done on a day that is entirely devoted to writing. I find that these targets are actually pretty easy for me to acheive. I have been known to get up to 8,000 words written in a day, but usually I only exceed my target by a couple of thousand if I exceed it at all. I find having this daily goal does help motivate me to write. Howevert, I never force myself to write just to reach a target if there is simply no motivation. Rubbish written material isd no use at all, so I might as well just take a break instead and go and read a book or chill for a bit.

Whilst my writing output per day may sound pretty good, I do discard or rewrite a lot of stuff. Some days may also be spent, in between books, developing ideas and plots in my head rather than sitting typing. I also tend to take a month off the targets in between projects – whilst I will write in this time, I don’t aim to complete anything.

After the current book is done, I’m going to look at doing a few more short stories. I think I already mentioned this in a previous post. A short 1,500-2,000 word story I can get done each day, and the longer 10,000 word ones can be easily done inside of a week. I must admit that I quite like this idea as a change, as it will let me try out different styles and genres that otherwise would be difficult to do if just writing books.