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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I forget who it was that said that to really be a writer you need to write 1 million words. This just now popped into my mind and I thought it would be a great topic for a little debate. I personally have to say that I disagree completely. You could bang off 1 million words and they could suck. So does this mean that after you did you can really write? I know I am far from off writing 1 million words. In fact in my whole very short life of writing I probably only have written 250,000 words, which for some of you is a full novel. Let's just say that I started a novel two years ago and didn't get past the first fifty pages. Scrap.

Then I started and ended a novel last year and now I am 20,000 words away from rewriting it. Though the story completely changed it it turned out a new novel by itself. So I am very new to writing, but that does not mean that someone who has written one million words could produce something better. To me it really depends. For example if I compare my first writing to my writing now you could think that the manuscripts were written by two different pieces. There is so much valuable information out there on blogs, forums and sites that you don't have to write 1 million words to learn. It is all a matter of how fast you catch on and how fast you improve. What is your take on the 1 million word theory and if you agree with it have you hit 1 million yet?


  1. On Bransforums, Ink mentioned that the first 1 million words are the hardest to write. I suppose it gets easier after that? IDK, I'll guess I'll figure it out after the like 10th book. ;-)

  2. One million words? Well, I write and rewrite as I draft a WIP so I may have actually written that much since I started writing fiction.

    I do know that writing 400,000+ words got me thinking about seriously writing fantasy fiction. (Most of that pile still sits in the computer unrevised.)

  3. I've heard the first million are the hardest...but also that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something.

    I just went through the last five years' worth of manuscripts and tallied about 475000 words. 525k left to go?

    I think the number of words required to write before you write well is inversely related to the number of books you read. Blogs are helpful, very helpful, and it's now possible to learn writing the easy way for several aspects. You make less mistakes through teaching yourself, but you don't get the feel for your own writing that you otherwise would through the 1 million words, or by reading.