I'm working on a novella for a specific market. In my mind the book is about ten chapters, 2500 words in each, for a total of something like 25,000 words. Last week I wrote 740 words. That doesn't count all those blog posts for the A to Z Challenge.
The smartest thing I did before sitting down to write was to list all my characters and their part in the story, then create a detailed synopsis. Then I broke down my synopsis into a detailed chapter by chapter outline. Granted, I know my story better than I've known any story. Don't ask why because I have no idea. This story just excites me. My heroine popped into my head with real experiences and the story grew out of her.
Yesterday, I met my friend Janie at the Mustang Library. We were there from 9:30 until almost 3:00 and I churned out 3,677 words. We skipped lunch. And while my stomach howled, I wrote and wrote and wrote.
A lot of writers (called pantsers) don't believe in outlines but I do so much better with them. Having one doesn't mean I'm locked in. I feel like an outline gives me freedom to write. With my 'map' in front of me I can get to the treasure-- the finished manuscript.
I don't expect to churn out that many words every day. In fact, today I feel a little brain dead and very drowsy.
How many words do you consistently write a day? Do you ever feel mentally exhausted if you over do it? Do you work with an outline--vague or detailed--to get you to the end of your project?