It seems like many of us have our own strategy when it comes down to the way we write; some of us have a plan when we pull the chair in, while a portion of us have absolutely no idea what's going to happen when we sit down.

Earlier this week, this was the topic of conversation I had with my daughter (who is an author of YA books), and she gave me permission to talk a little bit about how she's been writing.

She just finished writing a massive YA novel, with a staggering word count of 100,006 that took her 3 months to crack out. Each chapter is about 2,000 words, although one chapter reigns supreme at 5K words.

All of these numbers amaze me because my books live in the 60,000 word-range, and they take me longer than 3 months to complete. (Where does she get this gift of speedy fingers and a crafty mind come from?)

Here's what she told me: In order to gain a higher word count, she's been looking at each chapter as an individual writing project, taking a significant issue from that chapter, and expanding on that one issue.

But here's where she says her secret really comes in: she's been writing each chapter in a separate document, so when she looks at the word count and only sees 1,000, her mind says 'Hey, that's not enough!' and she continues writing on that one isolated issue from that chapter. And she just adds in more detail, more sensory depth, something funny or some important little tidbit, word by word until she's satisfied with that chapter's word count.

Once she's satisfied with both word count and content for that chapter, she then adds the chapter to the main document.

It makes sense to me.

So what about you? Do you have any word count tips you'd like to share?

Robyn