Sunday, October 3, 2010

How many words are there in a book?

Novels, pages and chapters differ much in word count, but a rough estimate is that
a novel is approximately
65.000 words,
260 pages of 250 words,
18 chapters of 14 pages.

NaNoWriMo is based on 50.000 words' novel. That's a bit short for a novel, about the size of a youth book or pulp literature. It's not hard to up the daily word count of 1665 to 2000 or 3000, for a bigger novel, but the thing is that NaNoWriMo is not actually about writing a novel, but about writing the first draft for a novel. 50.000 words is an acceptable 1st draft :-)

Now, you don't need to LIMIT yourself to 50.000 words. Find out how many words there are in the books in the genre you want to write about. How many words are there in the scripts the publisher you want to publish your book are requesting. How many words are there in your favorite books? (take the amount of pages and multiply with 250 and you get an approximate.)
Now take this amount of words and divide it with 30, and you get your daily word count.

Take this type speed test.

A moderate speed of typing is about 30-40 words per minute. It's usually halved, if you compose the text while you type. That means, that an average typist takes about 2 hours to finish typing the 1665 words required to reach the 50.000 words a month target.

You don't need to write like a secretary or learn the 10 finger typing system. It's quite enough to type with two fingers. Or use paper and pen. There are actually published authors who write for hand.

Besides... writing longhand has benefits ;-)

Writing word count
What is a word?

 P.S. Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story...


Hart Johnson said...

I'm with you--50K is WAY short for what I think a novel ought to end up (I prefer about a 100K version) but it is perfectly good for a first draft. Especially for a first draft written at that speed. I've done it twice, and both times, there are several gaps that look something like:
[transition character from XYZ to ABC] or [emotional scene here where character reveals...] so I record BROADLY what goes in the interim, but will come back and write those scenes later.

I normally write long-hand, but I can't wrimo long hand--it is too time consuming, so the first time I did it all on the computer, the second, a combo (though the combo can't be verified)

Both books still need the filling in, by the way...

Ketutar said...

giggle :-)

"both books need filling..." but they are there...