The Glory of Word Count Combat

word count combat

I chatted with a long time friend a few weekends ago, and he told me of his experience bouncing around from set to set out in Los Angeles as a Production Assistant. His dream is to become a screenwriter, but in the meantime he’s been making contacts and learning the industry ropes.

He explained how a director tossed coffee at him once, and how Harrison Ford’s dog chased him while delivering a script. As demeaning as it all sounds, it’s a pretty interesting life he lives, but I was most pumped about his thriller screenplay, which is supposedly perfect for Angelina Jolie. Regardless, I received a few emails the other day regarding Camp NaNoWriMo, and how I need to start interacting with other writers in order to write more.

NaNoWriMo does a great job pushing writers to throw words on the page throughout the entire year, as opposed to the original November binge strategy. The only real problem that I had during NaNoWriMo was that I found it a little weird just competing with myself, and all the people I tried to compete with ended up falling out early.

Word Count Combat

“I demand trial by combat!” says Tyrion Lannister in one of the most recent Game of Thrones episodes–for those of you hooked on the series. I finally started listening to the books on Audible a few weeks ago, and I’m on a mission to catch up to the HBO episodes (Audible kicks ass if you want to fly through books. I listen to them on my bike.)

This trial by combat refers to a last minute plea to avoid a beheading, and it gave me a solid idea for writing. Why not challenge other writers to see who can prove their worth? Sure, it’s more friendly than that, but the idea of battling my friend to a word count of 10,000 in one week intrigued me.

So we did it last week and I ended up winning by a slim margin. But we both actually won, because both him and I reached the 10,000 word mark, and we trash talked and had fun throughout the entire process.

The Bonus

We bet a simple case of beer (which I’ll probably never receive), but the real bonus that came along with our word count combat was that we both exchanged our writings for review. This allowed for feedback and even served as a way to prove that we actually completed the work.

I Welcome Your Challenge

Since our original bout, we decided to partake in word count combat every month to keep our writing chops fresh. This is where I want to invite all of my readers to join. I’m sure I won’t always be battling my good friend out West, so send me a message to challenge me for a word count goal. We can battle for fun. You are also more than welcome to state a small wager. I’ll post a meter in the sidebar of my site and then everyone can see who comes out on top. I’m still developing a little badge or virtual medal that might make it a bit more fun.

Let me know in the comments section below and let me know if you would like to decide your writing fate for the next few weeks with some friendly combat!

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.


  1. I had to smile at this one. Testosterone fueled writing. Have fun, guys. Susie’s going to sit this one out and cheer from the sidelines!