From the get-go I've figured I'd be done with my novel when I was simply done telling the story. (Sounds obvious, I know.) But I didn't have any idea how long a manuscript that would make. So I recently broke down and did a rough outline for the remainder of the WIP (that's work in progress, for any visitors not familiar with writerly jargon), coming up with twenty-some-odd chapters. Decent, but not a substantial thing to base your work by, since there are no standards for number of chapters and the lengths of those chapters. Seems like most novelists instead shoot toward a particular word count. Tonight I've decided to set a total word count goal for myself. I came to this number by using the rule I've heard is common among publishers: they figure 250 words per typed page and multiply that by your total number of pages. So if I shoot for 250 words on 250 pages (only 100 to go!), that gives me 62,500 words. That fits about right (and I'm thinking it's do-able!), according to these guidelines for word count someone on AW gave me:
Novel: 60k +
Short Story: 2000-7500
Flash Fiction: <2000
It feels good. Laying this tangible goal out in front of me makes it easier to plow ahead. And here I go...