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Writing 100,000 Words: How Much Time Does It Take to Finish?

While reading a novel, have you ever wondered how much time it might have taken for the writer to pen down the entire narrative?


Quite frankly, most of us don’t.

The objective is to read the content and get either entertained or informed. So most people don’t usually give it a thought how much time it might have taken for the writer to draft the whole novel.

But since you're here, reading this blog, it is safe to assume that you are interested in knowing how much time it takes to draft 100,000 words.

Well, a word-count of 100,000 is pretty long for a novel. Usually, a novel contains around 60,000 – 75,000 words on an average, and the ones that contain more than 100,000 words generally fall under the genres of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

 So if you are willing to draft a 100,000-word long novel, or just simply curious, here's what you need to know:

First of all, there is no particular answer to how much time it may take for a person to write 100,000 words. The answer is rather subjective. Some people have done it in weeks, while some have taken several years to accomplish the same.

If you are a student, you must have noticed that drafting even a 500 word-long essay takes several days to complete. Then you can have a decent idea of how much time it may take to draft 100,000 words.


According to the experts, there are a number of factors that determine how fast a person can finish writing 100,000 words.

  1. The writing/typing speed of the person:

You may already be aware of the fact that everyone does not write or type at the same speed. Depending on the speed and skills, it varies how much time a person needs to spend to write a 100,000 word-long document.

  1. The schedule of the writer:

Besides the writing speed and some other significant skills, the daily routine of the writer also determines how much time he/she may take to draft 100,000 words. Obviously, a person who has a lot of free time will be able to accomplish the task quicker than a person who has other engagements to attend.

  1. What does the writer expect to write?

The estimated time for drafting a 100,000-word long document also depends on the nature of content one is drafting. For instance, drafting a novel of 100,000+ words is much more time consuming than creating a list of things which also covers 100,000 words.

So, you can understand there cannot be a definite answer to the question: how much time it takes to draft 100,000 words. However, if you want, you can actually measure how much time it will take for you to write 100,000 words based on the number of words you can write on a daily basis.


So how exactly do you can measure it?

Counting pages will be much easier for you rather than counting the words you write to achieve the target of 100,000 words. Usually, when you are typing in Times New Roman 12 point font with a single-spaced format, it takes 20 pages to cover 100,000 words. In case of double-spaced format, it will take 40 pages to do the same.

At first, set a reasonable daily target for yourself. See how much time you can dedicate to it. Generally, writing 1000 words (2 pages) a day won’t be a humongous task for you, unless you have a jam-packed schedule.

If you continue to write 2 pages (1000 words) without missing a day, then you can finish 100,000 words in 100 days, which just over three months.

However, drafting a novel is much more complicated than that. At times, one drafts 4-5 pages a day without any glitch, while in some days writing even 100 words seems like a drag.

A small trivia:

George R. R. Martin took five years to write the book “A Dance with Dragons", while it took him nearly seven years to write his next novel in "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, "The Winds of Winter”.

Well, when you are willing to create a masterpiece, you need to give it as much time as it requires. But if you want to write a 20 page-long content in a limited amount of time, here’s what you can do:

  1. Jot down your ideas and create a structure for the content:

You can’t just start writing anything and everything that comes to your mind and call it quality content. Obviously, you need to plan the whole thing. So before you start writing, create a plan of action or a structure based on the main idea you have for the content. Also, note all the sub-points you want to discuss, and organize them properly.

  1. Decide which questions you want to answer through the content:

Choose around 20 major questions that you want to answer about the topic in hand. That will help you think of all the sub-points or the chapters of the 100,000 word-long document you are willing to write.

  1. Take the assistance of 5W and 1H if you can’t decide the chapters:

Journalists usually prepare their news stories based on 5W and 1H regarding a particular incident. It is basically, who, what, when, where, why and how. If you are struggling to pose a question for each of the chapters, this may help you fill the gap.

  1. Note how the others create their TOC:

The table of contents or the TOC is a useful thing for the readers who are reading a long piece of content. However, a lot of readers don't proceed to the main content if the TOC seems dull. You can take inspiration from the books that are written on the similar lines as you and put that to use.

  1. Start writing any chapter that you like:

A lot of people say that one should write the chapters of a long content in the chronological order, but if you want to finish it within a limited time, it is better to draft any chapter that you feel comfortable to write. Once the flow comes in your writing, all the chapters will seem easier to write.

  1. Treat each chapter as an individual essay paper:

If you have written essay papers, you may know that the most effective way of writing an essay is to draft the body first and then add the introduction and conclusion. You can do the same with each of the chapters for better results.

  1. Schedule your timetable and stick to it:

When your target is to draft 100,000 words, you can’t afford to lose time. Schedule your timetable and make sure you don't get interrupted when you are drafting the content. Writing is all about the flow. If it breaks, it can hamper the quality of the whole document.

  1. Keep a daily log of progress:

When you are drafting something long like a novel or a book, it is always better to keep a time-and-page log of the whole thing. Keep a record of your stats every time you finish a chapter or when your daily target is met. This will allow you to keep the momentum, and it can also help you estimate the date of completion.

  1. Take some break when you finish a chapter:

When you are drafting a lengthy document, it may feel refreshing when you treat yourself to some reward every time you finish a difficult chapter. This can be very effective in increasing productivity.

This is, however, the technique to prepare the first draft. You'll require several alterations and modifications to get the final thing.

So you can see, drafting a document of 100,000 words is certainly not a child's play. It demands discipline, patience and a lot of hard work. So, if you are still willing to draft 100,000 words on your own, remember, it's totally your call you how much time you want to spend on this thing.


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