Obsessed by Numbers

I have a confession to make. I look at YA books in Borders and try to imagine how thick my book will be when it's published. (Notice I say when, not if. I have to stay positive.) There's a site here that lists word counts for YA and MG novels. There's also a tool on Amazon that gives you the word count under the text stats feature on some books.

What is it with us writers? Yeah, you. You know who you are. We're obsessed by word count and number of pages in our ms. I remember when I first started the Glimmerlings I thought it would be a big deal if I got to 30,000 words. That grew to 40. Then 50. Now it's 54.

I've even written down titles while perusing bookstore shelves just so I can look them up on the aforementioned site.

Are you obsessed by word and page count? If so, let me know. Maybe we can form a support group.

5 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

I do check word counts and love when I can find them online. I check my own word count every day and keep track of how many I writer per day/etc.

Carrie Harris said...

I'll be in that group! Absolutely. I obsessively check my word count. I just wrote a page? Hmmm... I wonder how many words is in that page? I just finished a long paragraph of exposition? Wow, I wonder how long it is.

Seriously, I take it to a pitiful extreme. And I don't even have a daily goal or anything.

So yes, I'm all for a Word Count Addicts Anonymous or something like that.

Pink Ink said...

I worry that mine (58K) isn't long enough for the genre that I hope to figure out someday.

When I think of how many words people can write, I am awed.

Prince Balthazar said...

PJ, thanks for visiting! I'm honored. The Emerald Tablet sounds fantastic. I will definitely pick it up.

And welcome to the WCAA Support Group(Word Count Addicts Anonymous) TM Carrie Harris.


Carrie, I love looking at the word count feature at the bottom of the Word program, especially when you launch the program. It's like a writing odometer, racking up the figures.


Pink, 58k sounds like a pretty good length. But your work is more literary fiction, right? If so, I've always heard that one should use as many words as it takes to tell the story. There are a lot of novels (non YA or MG that are on the shorter side.)

Carrie Harris said...

Oooh. WCAA needs a motto. Or a secret handshake. I've always wanted to know a secret handshake.