Through my many discussions into the progression of my book writing process, a question continues to resurface. How many pages is your book? Initially this concern or idea was something that was important to me. I guess I wanted to feel like I was accomplishing something. I tried hard to remember exactly how many pages I had written. I was proud after reaching 30, then 100, and then 200, and then…..I lost count. With so many different changes and movement of words, ideas, and storyline, the chapters and pages became jumbled.
As I learned about the importance of daily writing, keep a constant schedule and trying to write every day, I became acquainted with word count. I set myself a word count daily goal of 2,500. This seemed like a good number. Though as I continued to write I only reached this goal half the time, on the days that I actually found time to write. But other days, I surpassed this number as well.
Then, a few published authors began asking, what is my overall word count. They taught me that overall word count is the most important of all. This tells someone experienced, how far you have come and often, how far you still need to go.
Word count is often dependent on the type of book you are writing. You surely wouldn’t want a childrens’ book to be in the 100,000 word range and you wouldn’t want a fantasy book in the 20,000 word range. Though, I am not a publisher, so I really don’t know for sure.
I was always unable to answer the word count question because I hadn’t taken the time to combine the 25+ different and individual chapters, each being divide into their own document. That changed today. I finally was able to combine everything, with some power and finesse into a complete first draft, word count.
Drum roll please……..I am currently sitting at around 211,000 words give or take a few hundred.
I immediately became happy and scared at the same time. I was happy to see that I had come so far. But, I then began to worry if it was actually too long for a fantasy fiction book. And again, I will refer back to the fact that I am not a publisher and really have no idea. I know a lot of fantasy books that are indeed much longer than 200,000 but they have been done by published and well-known authors.
I have begun editing and who knows, that number may change dramatically. But, one thing I am sure of…..Word count is much more important than page numbers. Good luck in reaching your word count!!!
Update*** – After reviewing my chapters and making some changes….I found a lost chapter and my word count went up to 225,000 words on average. Now back to editing!!!