How long should a scene be?
How long should my novel be?
How many words should I write a day?
How many drafts should I write?
How many scenes should I have?
Who the fuck knows?
From my incessant Googling, I came to the conclusion that scenes should be between 750 and 1,000 words long. That’s the guideline I’m sticking to now and it feels right. Shorter scenes when the action is heavier; longer scenes when you’re painting a picture or dealing with a lot of exposition. I think they key is that they should flow into one another. If a scene is 300 words and it works, leave it. If a scene is 3,000 words and it works, leave it.
Of course, I am probably completely wrong.
I fucked up hugely when I started writing the novel: I didn’t set myself a daily target. What a fool. I wrote when the mood took.
So I imagined myself as a journalist on a deadline. I had to write 1,000 words a day, minimum. When starting the writing, I felt very uncomfortable. It’s unnatural, sometimes, to throw yourself into an imaginary world by force, especially when the distractions of the modern world are demanding your attention.
I’ll start the my writing once I’ve checked my Facebook.
Oh look, a picture of a cat.
But if you can break through the wall and hit that target, it comes easier the next time. Like sex, I guess.
And then once you’ve finished your word count, give yourself a little pat on the back. Have a coffee, maybe…or a vodka, if that’s your thing. Whatever works.
Soon you’ll hit 10k. Then 20k. The Scrivener Project Targets bar will shift from the red shading of failure to a pleasing, successful green in no time.
Why are you reading this? Go and hit your target.