Realistic goals can be critical in helping you achieve success, and this is particularly so when it comes to writing.
A novel is such a large, nebulous beast, it can be daunting to look at it head on and might seem like an unmanageable task.
By breaking it down into manageable chunks, you can see your progress and know if you’re on track or if you’re falling behind.
The Novel Factory statistics help you set targets and then display your progress visually to keep you informed and motivated.
Here’s how to use the stats:
First, note that you can have statistics for each of the three drafts of your novel – the set of statistics that you’re looking at is indicated by the toggleable radio buttons at the top.
In order to activate the statistics, you need to first enter a target for your estimated number of words and a target finish date.
Target Daily Word Count
Once you’ve entered these numbers, The Novel Factory will calculate how many words you need to write on average each day to achieve your goal – the Target Daily Word Count.
This is a useful number to know, because it will tell you if your target finish date is realistic or not.
Only you will know how many words you can write per day. If you are lucky enough to be able to write full time, then perhaps 2,000 words upwards is achievable. However, if you’re fitting in your novelling around full time work, family and other hobbies, then perhaps a number closer to 200 - 500 per day is reasonable.
It’s better to have realistic, achievable goals than to be over ambitious and then become disheartened when you get left behind.
Note that this number will update itself depending on how many words you have left to write.
Current Word Count
This is how may words in total you have written for that draft of your novel.
Record Daily Word Count
This tells you the highest number of words you’ve ever written in one day. Can you keep beating your own personal best?
Average Daily Word Count
As you’d expect, this tells you how many words you’ve written on average per day in that draft since you started.
Today’s Word Count
Pretty self-explanatory, this is the number of words you’ve written today. You can use this to see how much more to need to write in order to meet your target.
Viewing your Novel Statistics
You can see how you’re doing in a number of ways.
The Head, Tail and Incident breakdown gives a sense of the balance of conflict in your novel. Your story should have a balance of high and low conflict scenes (Head Scenes are high conflict scenes, Tails and Incidents are low conflict scenes - see the Novel Factory Roadmap for more detail on this), though you may lean this balance one way or the other.
The Progress Pie Chart shows you how far you’ve progressed towards completing that draft, with still-to-do in blue and completed progress in red.
The Daily Average Speedometer shows you the rate at which you’re writing. Try to keep the needle in the green.
The Novel Breakdown shows you how balanced your scenes lengths are. You don’t want all your scenes to be the same length, but if you have one scene which is significantly out of the typical trend, it may be worth seeing if it needs to be broken down or assimilated into another scene.
The Progress over Time is my favourite graph. The flat blue line shows your progress target, and as you write, a wriggling red line will appear on top of it to show how you’re actually doing.
If you have any questions about the Novel Factory statistics, or any requests for additional statistics for us to work on - let us know in the comments below.