Monday, March 05, 2012

The Great Word Count Challenge

I have one week until the kids are off for spring break and while I'd love to post a lot of the brilliant, insightful, or perhaps mildly amusing things running through my head I've decided to devote this week to hosting a word count challenge.  You see, I want to have a strong, working draft of Crewel #2 (which has a new name that I can't share yet!) before the minions are home.  You've heard the old saying "strength in numbers," right?  Well, I need you to help me meet my goal, by jumping on the word count bandwagon.  Can you commit to your WIP for the week?  Can you pop in daily and share your word count goal with me?  Can you beat mine?

Maybe you don't even have a WIP in progress, but you've always wanted to write something.  Here's your chance.

I challenge you to a contest.  First, a bet.  I bet I can write more than you.  (That reads much braver than it is).  I'm so confident in this that I'm going to bet you that if anyone of you writes more than me, I will give away 2 prizes to ANYONE who comments on this post.  What will they win?  Their choice of a private query critique or an ARC of Crewel.

To sweeten the pot, the person who writes the most and checks in daily - whether or not they write more than me - gets their choice of a private query critique (and you get to ask questions) or an ARC of Crewel.

So, let's break it down:

If I win and write the most, the person who writes the most and checks in daily, gets a prize.

If one of you wins, the winner gets a prize as well as two other people who check in during the week.

You MUST comment on this post.  You MUST check-in daily.  You MAY join late on any day, but should check-in thereafter.  You MUST share your pitch on one of the days you check-in (don't care which).

How will I know that you are actually writing?  You just need to post a brief pitch (35 words or less) of your WIP to show you have one, and the rest if on the honor system.  Don't be an asshat and lie.  Karma will hunt you down.  If you choose an ARC, please note that they won't ship out until the beginning of April.  They are in my editor's office, but she has to keep them under lock and key until the cover reveal.  (You might be imagining her as a dragon guarding the treasure that is my book, but well, she is much prettier than a dragon and I've yet to see her breathe fire.)  Open in the U.S. only if you want the ARC, but internationally if you want the critique or just to beat my ass.  Open to all stages of writers, published or no.

Contest starts now. Please post your starting word counts, whether they be 0 or 60,288 (mine!).  It ends on Sunday night at midnight your time (honor system again).  I'll post a chance for everyone to share final word counts on Monday.

So who's game?


  1. Why does stuff like this always come up when I'm plotting a new book? I was plotting my last book during NaNoWriMo, and I just started plotting a new book last week. Thus no big word counts for me.

  2. Ooh, fun. It's on, yo. I'll play. My starting word count: 21,166. I have to work on that pitch now.

  3. So here goes my pitch.

    A young newly engaged couple are in a house that is hit by a tornado. The man dies. In order to move on the woman travels to the town he grew up in to see how he lived before they met.

    Its a little more than 35 words, but I tried...I wrote 500 words today.

  4. @Katie - might I suggest just jumping in and seeing where it goes?

    @ilima - welcome!

    @cassidy - love the sound of it!

    good luck all!

    and my 35 pitch to be fair:

    Book 2 in my trilogy that currently has too much kissing and lots of butt-kicking.

  5. Nikki StuckwischMarch 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Oh, and I wrote 900 words today.

  6. Nikki StuckwischMarch 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    OK, I'll play. I have to work two days this week, but hopefully I can get some writing done before or after work.

    Pitch: After a near-death experience, Heather can see ghosts who help her solve the brutal murders happening downtown.

  7. I want to participate!! My starting word count is 6,911.

    Pitch: A fallen goddess is kidnapped by demons who hope to use her to find Pandora's Box. With enemies lurking behind every corner, she must follow her gut to keep the ancient Box closed.

    I haven't written anything today, but I'm starting now.!

  8. SO DOING THIS! Starting WC: 671.

    Pitch: When Vivian's sister attempts suicide, her dad drags the sisters to the middle of the Pacific. During their summer of sea and sun, Vivian vows to recover the lively sister of her childhood.


  9. I'm in! I'm trying to finish my WIP.

    Pitch: She’s been injected with an ancient drug and now Jayda must fight demons that need her blood to survive. The Guardian sworn to protect her must decide; save her, or use her to save himself.

    I'm at 51,255 starting and I wrote 1,105 today.


  10. Count me in! I just finished a revision for one WIP and I'm ready to pick up the other one for a while (I'd like to finish 1st draft by the end of the month). I can't guarantee a high word count, but I'm pretty competitive, so I'm going to try my hardest :)

    My current WIP, LETTERS FROM HEAVEN, is a Young Adult Contemporary with a slight paranormal twist:

    When her mom dies, Missy Tuttle’s world falls apart. No one understands. But then a letter from her mother arrives… and then another… As the letters continue, Missy realizes she’s receiving letters from Heaven.

    I started today with a word count of 31,356. I'm now at 32,210... I'm planning to write for another couple hours before going to bed, though. Wish me luck!

  11. This is exactly the motivation I need to start WIP #2 while Porcelain Wings is querying.

    Pitch (this is really rough, forgive me): Lucas and Pandora fall for each other at the Masquerade. Problem: Lucas is a Titan; Pandora is an Olympian. The two races are forbidden from relations. A gender-swap steampunk Romeo and Juliet meets the Greek myths of old.

    Starting WC: 1879
    Words written: 2909

  12. Monday, I'm up to 23,976. And here's my pitch:

    Nine chooses to become male during her Remake hoping it will make her brave. But when her shuttle crashes on the way to the Remake facility, Nine must learn to become brave, as a girl, if she hopes to survive.

  13. Count me in! I'm really going to try to keep up with this, it just might be the motivation that I need to muscle through these edits.

    Please don't laugh at my ridiculously rough pitch.

    When Fiona is attacked by a beautiful yet psychotic woman in the woods outside her home, she soon finds out that she and her family are Guardians to an ancient race of warriors.

    Right now I'm at 613 WC, but I still have a couple of hours of writing so I'll post my updated later.

  14. [...] Hey everyone, post your total words written YESTERDAY.  If you’re just joining us, jump on in.  All the rules are in this post. [...]

  15. How perfect! I just started a new book yesterday. I won't probably win, but it's fun to check in. I wrote 909 words. My working title is Fashion Freddy.

    Pitch: 12-year-old closet fashion designer Freddy's reputation will be ruined if he enters the Fashion Design Find. So he convinces fashion inept Izzie, to enter in his place. Her name, his designs - perfect!

  16. Just what I need to keep me on track!

    Starting word count: 1,696
    Pitch: Teenage girl trying to change her shady past but failing miserably.

  17. Last night ending WC 714. Not such a high word count, because I'm editing :(

  18. Checking in:

    Monday (3/5): 854 words
    Tuesday (3/6): 1536 words

    Didn't reach my personal goal for the day, but I'm making progress, and that's what really counts, right?

  19. Checking in. Was a miserable attempt because I kept getting ambulance calls :(

    Monday 3/5, I wrote 1,105
    Tuesday 3/6, I wrote 788


  20. Joining in late, but so hoping this will motivate me to finish this draft.

    Pitch: Sage has been in love with her best friend Adam for as long as she can remember. Last summer he left her with a kiss and a million questions. This summer she's determined to find the answers.

    Starting WC: 49, 372
    Today's WC: 1073

  21. Today's word count: 1055

    I might get a chance to write more after I put my kids to bed tonight, but this is my busiest night this week, so I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance to post an update later. I thought I'd better update now, before everything gets too crazy :)

  22. Today's word count: 2,101. Yay!

  23. I wrote 896 more words tonight - for a grand total of 1951 today. Still not up to the goal I set for myself, but it's better!

  24. Today's word count: 1734

    (Incidentally, this was one of the scenes I've been dreading, so even though my word count isn't as high as yesterday, I feel like I've accomplished more today!)

  25. Isn't that a great feeling when you get over a scene you dread to write?? Yay for getting it done :)

  26. Kids are home on break=epic fail in the word count department.

    Today I wrote: 543 words in a scene edit. :(

  27. Today's word count: 1093

    Another of the emotionally difficult scenes to write today. Maybe I should skip these parts for this weekend, and come back to them next week, when I'm not keeping track of word counts? - Nah, I need the push to get me to tackle the parts I've been avoiding, even if it brings my word count down :)

  28. But you spent time with your kids and still got some writing in. That's not a fail - that's good parenting :)

  29. Yeah, I'm actually using the challenge this week to go back over my first draft and write the scenes I skipped over the first time through (those that were difficult emotionally for me). It helps when I know I "have to" do it :)

  30. So true! I have to remind myself of that when I'm frantic for quiet time so I can write. :)

  31. Today (Saturday), my word count is up 1061. I'm going to quit apologizing for the small word counts and just be grateful that I'm writing a little bit every single day :)

  32. Today's word count: 555

    Sunday is family day in my home, so I spent the day with my kids instead of with my computer :)

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