I've read that Ernest Hemingway limited himself to exactly 500 words per day. I try to get at least 1000 myself. Every day, seven days a week.

How about you?

And do you think word count is ever an indicator of quality? Is it probable to crank out, say, 5000 words a day and still produce something that's worth reading?

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Rewriting.  The real fun of creating a story.  

There is a fundamental mistake being argued here.  Rewriting isn't (or shouldn't) be a dance through the dictionary to find the right word.  It is, it has to be, it must be, a quest to express the correct thought, or correct image at just the right moment in the story so our readers gain an understanding of the way the world works.  Done right, we reveal the human experience. Done wrong and we lose credibility and readers.  Ultimately, we could lose our jobs.

The second undercurrent running through this commentary is that genre fiction is somehow less than literary fiction, written fast and without care.  Horsepucky.  Some of the greatest books of our time are in specific genres.

Sci Fi:  Stranger in a Strange Land and A Canticle for Liebowitz

Crime:  The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and LA Confidential

Western:  Hondo and The Three Ten to Yuma.

These are all genre books that succeed not only on a financial level but explore the basic human condition.

I believe that writing fiction is the most important profession in the world.  We are charged with making sense of a chaotic world.  We do this for our readers.  The way we do it is personal and when subjected to amateur criticism it is not improved.  Rather we should examine other's process for application in our own writing.

I didn't pick up on that undercurrent. Anyway, I agree with you, though I would have chosen different examples (especially for sci fi... ;)

OK.  Exploring the basic human condition in order to make sense of it is exactly the something extra I expect in a "well-written" book.  Plot is insufficient, no matter how suspenseful or exciting.

I believe that writing fiction is the most important profession in the world. 

More than modeling lingerie????

I'm with you, Cammy. Modeling lingerie has done a great deal to make man rise to the occasion....

I believe that writing fiction is the most important profession in the world. We are charged with making sense of a chaotic world.

Well, let's not get carried away. Maybe something between that and tap dancing for change. ;)

I'm sorry you feel that way.

I believe that writing fiction is the most important profession in the world. We are charged with making sense of a chaotic world

Sorry, I'm with Jude on this one. I'd have to put medical researchers and surgeons above fiction writers, just to name two. As a matter of fact, I'd put teachers well ahead, as there's not much good to any writing absent people t read it.

On the other hand, there's not much good in knowing how to read without having something worthwhile to read.

Actually, rather sadly, the current state of affairs is that very few people reach for a book, and when they do, it's usually non-fiction. Most prefer to watch sports and reality shows. And we can thank the educational system for some of that. Our students don't know enough words to understand the books, so reading is no fun.

But thanks to medicine, we all live longer, putting an increasingly heavier burden on health insurance and enriching the larger medical profession.

Are we happy?  Well, they say ignorance is bliss, so we probably are.

 

I set a goal of 500 words every day.  Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't even get a chance to try.  I have a day job, a family, and military an disaster response agency reserve commitments, so free time is rare.

Yes, that's true for me also.  Alas, my inspiration isn't always with me when I'd like to write fast.  I'd like to write fast every day.

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