I have a system of using multiple saved documents to write one story that works for me.I found that breaking up my stories into multiple documents not only helps my word processor load documents faster, but it also helps me keep track of my ideas. Last year I ended up with over 20 different documents this way and used a spreadsheet to track their words. This year I will be using the same strategy. The only downside to this is when it comes time to validate my novel; I have to open all my documents, copy the text, and paste each one into the online checker. To me, it's a small inconvenience that's well worth the added organization.
I just wanted to know: How do you guys and gals track your word count?
I write mine with vim (a simple text editor). I used to break my novel into chapter files (sometimes winding up with 20-40 separate files, each named something like ch02.txt or ch28.txt), but last NaNo I kept everything in a single file. Vim supports folding on headers (I use Markdown mark-up so a chapter is just a line that begins with ##), so I can rearrange chapters simply by moving a single folded line in the file.
Once NaNo is over, I can convert the Markdown into rtf or other formats using a utility like pandoc.
For word counting, in both cases since I am using Linux, I use the wc utility (works the same with multiple files or single files; and it matches up very well with the NaNo validator).
If you're using OpenOffice or LibreOffice, you can create a Master Document that references your individual documents and then more easily use that to get your text out in one operation for the NaNo validator (I haven't done this, but the write-ups seem to indicate this will work).
I use Scrivener, which means I can break everything down into chapters or scenes (and export as such, if need be!) and keep it all in one lovely document. There's a really great word count tool that tells me my word count for the whole novel and my word count for each individual section. The best part, though, is the word count goal tracker. You can input a specific goal for the novel as a whole and for the session/day and it will track both of them with a fun little progress bar.
You guys are all so fancy and technological. I use a plain old fashioned word document and write linearly from start to finish.
IF there is a scene that insists on being written before I arrive at that point in my novel I either write it out longhand in my story journal (if I'm not near a computer - like during work lunch breaks) or I ipen a separate document and name it whatever the scene is and use it as my "task point" where in I can't stop writing for the night until I reach that spot and can copy and paste in the text