The Daily Pick

Monday, February 07, 2005

Word Count for Writers and Publishers

"How many words are in *This* many pages?"

People often ask me this kind of question. Well, guess what dudes, I'm a writer, not a math teacher. Lucky for us all, Pam McCutcheon shows us how long that novel is going to be. If you're too lazy to even click over to the site, which I know some of you are like that, then remember that one page equals about 250 words. This is important, because it's not the same as "word count" on your word processor.

What's the difference?

"Short sentences/dialogue, chapter breaks, and scene breaks take up more space on the page, but use fewer words. For example, the sentence "Rick laughed." is only two words, but it occupies an entire line of text.

From the publisher's standpoint, it's more important to know how much space will be used in the printed book than to know the exact word count. So by using this method of estimating word count, you can give the publisher what they really want."

posted by The Daily Pick at 8:37 PM


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