Word Countess


I know that judging my plot by pages is just silly, but I still have the compulsion to check my page count. Somewhere along my writing way, I heard that 2/3rds of my double spaced page count would give me an approximation of how many pages my book would be. Fonts, font size, margins, and so much more actually affect the page count, so I have no idea how accurate that trick is. And it probably doesn’t matter all that much since every query site demands to know your word count!

Julia‘s hypothetical book page count is just over 100…which seems disappointing. BUT, her word count is over 40,000! That seems much more respectable. She’s not finished, but the story is wrapping up. At the rate I was going, I didn’t think I’d break 40K…and I’m still not sure I’ll hit 50K, the magic NaNoWriMo novel number.

What constitutes novel length isn’t set in stone, but I’ve seen a lot of people say that NaNo’s number is too low and that a “real book” starts at 60K. Well crap.

And those query sites? Lately, quite a few fantasy queries have been reviewed…all in the 80-100K range. In general, Fantasy is known for being wordier, but double crap.

So that got me wondering…how many words do real books really have? I remember reading The Notebook and thinking it was incredibly small. And what about those high school classics?

After aimlessly searching Google, I stumbled across Amazon’s new Text Stats feature and found out that The Notebook is longer than I thought at 49k; Animal Farm is a measly 30k; The Scarlet Letter is 36k words of pain; and The Great Gatsby is a ginormous 52k.

So, Julia has some ground to make up for me to be sitting comfortably, but it’s nice to know that she’s not way off the mark.

PS. The Text Stats feature is under the “Inside This Book” section, and is only available for some books.


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