book review, nonfiction, writing

5000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox

What better book to read during National Novel Writing Month than one that promises to teach you how to write faster and write smarter?

The secret really is discipline, and if you’re interested in increasing your hourly word count Fox will give you step by step instructions on how to pre-plan your writing, write distraction free and increase your editing speed.

The perfect book for those who like to track progress and measure results, 5000 Words Per Hour is full of useful practical tips to increase writing and editing productivity, and the author even shares spreadsheets to help track your word count.

The best thing I can say about this book is that it works. Following Fox’s exercises and advice I’ve doubled my words per hour from 2000 to 4000.

This book appealed to me because I love planning my writing in minute detail and I like tracking things. The idea of the writing sprint isn’t new to me, nor is the need to plan out your writing in your head before you sit down at the computer, but Fox packages all this good advance into an upbeat, easy to follow series of chapters which each end with an easy to follow exercise.

Fox describes the benefits of practicing discipline well, gives different examples of how best to achieve your optimal writing time, and keeps reminding the reader how rewarding increased productivity can be. Finally a chance to complete all the novels cluttering up my headspace!

I found it interesting he encouraged using dictation to achieve 5000 words per hour, as my thought to spoken word speed is so much slower than my thought to typing speed. However, I’m sure with practice even I could improve my speaking speed.

I also liked the chapters on using editing sprints to increase the speed of revision and proofreading. I hadn’t encountered that before and it seemed daunting at first, but this too is possible.

Of course, authors are not machines, and Fox does point out the importance of pacing yourself to avoid burnout. It’s probably not a good idea to aim to write 50,000 words in ten hour working days, five days a week.

Of course, there is an argument that quantity doesn’t mean quality and that writing a fast first draft isn’t necessarily a good thing. Fox does cover this in the book, but don’t let the title put you off. Increasing discipline and productivity is a good thing if you plan on writing for a living, and this book will help you achieve that even if 5000 words per hour isn’t your end goal.

I award 5000 Words Per Hour

5000 Words Per Hour is available for $3.04 ebook and $8.99 print book on Amazon.

9 thoughts on “5000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox”

    1. It is. Writing fast really suits me as it helps silence all the self doubt that holds me back. I have to concentrate on creating rather than tearing myself down. I don’t know if I’ll get to 5000 words per hour, but 4000 isn’t too bad.

      Liked by 3 people

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