Thursday, January 3, 2008

Word Count Goal

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:

Epic: 200,ooo+
Novel: 60k +
Novella: 17,500-60k
Novelette: 7500-17,500
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...


Writing the Cyber Highway said...

Way to go, Janna! Woo Hoo for you getting focused and setting goals on that WIP!

Here's to lots of sales once it's published--after you finish it of course. :-)


Melanie Hooyenga said...

And, anything over 120K is considered way too much, so that helps keep things realistic. I had no idea where I'd end up so put 80K as my first goal, but my first draft came out at about 95K. After going through edits I'm still at that number, but since I'm missing a conclusion it'll probably hit 100K.

That being said, that's Word's count, not the magic 250 words/page formula.