Friday, December 11, 2009

Word Counting Basics

Worried about the word count of your current writing projects? Here are some helpful basics on word counts. This "rule-of-thumb" guideline can help you stick to the generally accepted word count range for a particular writing category:
  • Blog Posts: 150 to 500 words
  • Online Articles: 350 to 1500 words
  • Printed Articles (such as news or magazines): 1000 to 15,000 words
  • Short Stories: 1500 to 30,000 words
  • Novellas: 30,000 to 50,000 words
  • Novels: 55,000 to 100,000 words OR Roughly 300 pages of double-spaced typed copy
Online, success is often measured by the number of readers a particular site has. Readership is not only affected by the usefulness of the information, but also by the length of the posts. If they are too short - they may lack either entertainment value, or be too brief to be useful or informative.

In the offline publishing world, a submission that falls outside of the accepted word count range can result in your hard work never even being read. Approximately one third of the novels received by publishers and agencies are rejected simply for being either too long or too short. Novels over 100,000 are costlier to the publisher and the agent, and are therefore come with a greater risk.

Useful Tip:
Don't worry or pay close attention to the word count of your first draft. Allow the story to flow naturally, and without interruption. When revising your draft, be more conscious of the word count, tightening up the text in some areas or elaborating in others, as needed. But don't completely delete or destroy any portions of the story you cut out, either. These tidbits can be useful in creating other stories or sequels, later!

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