Monday, September 13, 2010

Word Counts

Whenever I see a new post on "word counts" I find myself gravitating to it to research if my current manuscript is still within acceptable guidelines. Well a new post came out on 9/12/10 entitled, "Word Counts for Children's Books" on the Literary Rambles blog, and it does a good job of listing words counts within the Children's genre.

Another good post on the subject was from earlier in the year at The Swivet titled, On word counts and novel length. And over at The Guide to Literary Agents, there's a post Word Count for Novels and Children's Books: The Definitive Post.


Terin Tashi Miller said...

I had an agent once, the one who first encouraged me to write my firstnovel, and he used to take my typed manuscript on, as he insisted, "25% rag content" white linen paper, and literally weigh it on his right hand--hefting it up and down.

To him, it wasn't about word count. It was about the "heft" or weightiness of my words.

Though he did note that, at the time, most traditional publishers were looking for at least 70,000 words, or about 250 typed pages, of an idea, he never checked or made me check the word count. As long as the story stuck together, and the sentences and paragraphs and chapters all ended and began with "weight," he was happy.

I'll never forget the smile on his face, weighing my first try at "Rivers."

"Yep," he said, weighing it up and down in his hand, "this is a good one."

Michelle said...

Terin - What a great story, and one that sheds light on one important lesson I've learned in all my research about this business...every agent/publisher/editor is different in how and what they require. The guidelines I think are just that, rules to guide us all in getting our manuscripts as tight and polished as possible, but in the end it is really all about the words that fill those pages.