Yes you can write a book and here’s the math to prove it.

We tend to overcomplicate things and when you want to write a book it can seem like an impossible task. The simple truth is this; it really is simple to write a book if you know the math. Why mathematics? Maths helps you break down a problem and when you break it down suddenly the possibilities appear.

A short note on word counts:

The average novel is 80,000–100,000 words. Novella’s 30,000–40,000. Now with self-publishing you really can write a book any length you want. I personally believe the trend is for shorter books. The eBook market on Amazon now counts for 30% of all book sales so the feel and ‘chunkiness’ of a book is no longer important. Steve Scott writes short non-fiction at 10,000–15,000 words per book and sells tens of thousands per month, most are eBooks. Whatever you decide to write, long or short, its all totally doable and here’s the math to prove it:

  • 1000 words a day = 365,000 words a year.
  • 500 words a day = 182,500 words.
  • 1000 words every Sunday = 52,000 words.
  • 500 words every Saturday and Sunday = 52,000 words.
  • 300 words every Weekday = 78,300 words.
  • 200 words every second day = 36,500 words.
  • 500 words every second day = 92,500 words.
  • 250 words Mon-Thu = 52,000 words.
  • 2000 words Mon-Thu = 416,000 words.
  • 1 Chapter per fortnight = 26 Chapters.
  • 1 Chapter per weekend = 52 Chapters.

Let’s break down a novel even further:

  • The Beginning is about 1/4 of the Story.
  • The Middle is about 1/2 of the Story.
  • The End is the last 1/4 of the Story.

100,000 word novel: 25,000/50,000/25,000 words.

30,000 word novel: 7500/15,000/7500 words.

Steven Pressfield Breaks down the scene sequence even further below:

  1. You’ll need a scene that is the inciting incident of the beginning of your story.
  2. You’ll need a scene that is the inciting incident of the middle of your story.
  3. You’ll need a scene that is the inciting incident of the end of your story.
  4. You’ll need a scene that progressively complicates the beginning of your story.
  5. You’ll need a scene that progressively complicates the middle of your story.
  6. You’ll need a scene that progressively complicates the end of your story.
  7. You’ll need a scene that creates a crisis question at the beginning of your story.
  8. You’ll need a scene that creates a crisis question in the middle of your story.
  9. You’ll need a scene that creates a crisis question at the end of your story.
  10. You’ll need a scene that climaxes the beginning of your story.
  11. You’ll need a scene that climaxes the middle of your story.
  12. You’ll need a scene that climaxes the end of your story.
  13. You’ll need a scene that resolves the beginning of your story.
  14. You’ll need a scene that resolves the middle of your story.
  15. You’ll need a scene that resolves the end of your story.

Your story may break conventions or rules and that’s perfectly fine the key is to not get bogged down by the shear enormity of it all. Break it down into small manageable parts and eventually the parts will get moving until it is a living breathing book.

Happy Writing :>


Originally published at activepatience.com on June 7, 2015.