Posted by: oneyearbook | March 6, 2009

Word count

So novels are usually in about the 90,000 to 150,000 word range. Knowing this, I can think in advance about how long I would like my book to be, and figure out how many words per day I need to write to finish it in a timely manner.

Do I want it to be short? Medium? Or long?







A close reading of Goldilocks would suggest that the answer should actually be ‘just right.’

(For the record, The Great Gatsby appears to be outside the ‘normal’ range, coming in at about 50,000 words. I couldn’t find the info for the other two, but I suspect that Howard’s End represents a ‘regular’ length novel, probably about 130,000 words, and Ulysses … well, I don’t even want to begin to guess. 600,000?)

I think I’ll be aiming for the shorter side of regular, but I expect I’ll have some extra weight in my first draft, so let’s say 130,000 words, with room to lose 30,000 of them later. That means if I want a first draft in six months I have to write 1,000 words every weekday during those months. Sounds doable to me.


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