Monday, July 24, 2006

Word count - a rant

The entire subject is humbling. Over on eharlequin's Subcare thread another aspiring author asked a question about her manuscript, which was short of the desired word count. The woman's story came in at fifty seven thousand and the guidelines say sixty to sixty five. She got lots of advice about layering. All well and good, but how exactly are we supposed to calculate word count?

Is it estimated? Or actual computer word count.? The writer's guidelines don't say. Editors say don't worry - if it's too long we can always cut.

But I do worry - probably obsessively. The variance between computer word count and calculated word count is huge. The manuscript I'm polishing at the moment is sixty one thousand some odd words by actual computer word count - perfect for Blaze. By calculated word count it weighs in at a hefty seventy seven thousand five hundred words, way too many words. :~

I've decided to be optimistic and figure the guidelines are referring to computer count.


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