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Old 25th April 2008, 08:33 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

Do you mean what font should you use?
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Old 25th April 2008, 10:02 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

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Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
No, no, word count does matter, because that's how much story you're going to deliver, and long stories are what sell now.

How long the book will be in print is determined by the book design and all sort of other things that come into the production of the book.

Imagine you're an editor and you look at X manuscripts per week every week of your working life. You're going to become pretty adept at converting an accurate Word wordcount into a number of pages the published book would be, once you've taken into account the book format, the house style, etc. A quick riffle through the pages to gauge the amount of dialogue - if it's pretty talky, add say ten percent. You won't even have to do the arithmetic, experience will tell you.

So, as John says, just use the word processor's word count, and let the professionals worry about converting it to actual book size.

As a historical note, I think the 250 thing was always more useful when submitting stories to magazines, where the editors had to work out if they had enough page space to fit your story into the issue. But I always thought that was just laziness on their part to be honest.

Sorry for jumping in to your thread, JJ.
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Old 25th April 2008, 10:47 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

Anyone is welcome, Neil!
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Old 25th April 2008, 12:42 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

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Do you mean what font should you use?
Presumptive assumtion that this is a query on my query, if not please forgive and forget.

No. Following a spell check in Word there are some readability statistics under tools. I wondered if these were any practical use or just addons that make the editor look good as far as the 'real' world is concerned.
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Old 25th April 2008, 12:46 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

I've never used them, nor has anyone else I know in publishing!
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

'nough said. Thanks
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:19 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

But on that topic ...

IS there a prefered font for publishers, agents, etc?

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, who said that they always write in Courier, because they'd heard that it was mandatory to submit a manuscript in that particular font. Personally, I've always used Arial ...

They also said that they tend to underline the places where italics should be, rather than simply using italics .... which was a new one for me!
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:33 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

As long as it's clearly legible the font doesn't matter. And underline or use italic font as you wish, it makes no difference whatsover to a publisher.


Personally, I use Ariel or Times New Roman.
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:37 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

Thanks John,

I have to admit, he'd managed to plant the seed of doubt in my mind, regarding the italics thing.

Is the underlining just a throwback to the typewriter days?
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:42 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

I would think so. It seems odd and wilfully archaic to me, in these days when almost everyone uses Word or a similar WP program, not to use the italic and bold functions!

When I was writing SF stories and sending them to magazines, in the 70s, I used a Smith-Corona portable, so I had to underline instead of using italics. I'd have killed for the present state of things. I bought a second-hand IBM golfball electric typewriter as soon as I could afford one and the italic golfball was the first extra one I bought, just so I didn't have to underline - which always seemed messy. I can't see any reason why you wouldn't want the font and appearance of your typescript to approxiamte to that of a finished book, aside from double spacing and using the entire page (i.e., don't use half the page and make it look like a paperback). Clarity and ease of reading are all-important when you are submitting to an agent or publisher.
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Old 25th April 2008, 01:56 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

I take my hat off to anyone who's written anything of any length on a typewriter! I've become totally dependent on spell-check, word count, cut and paste, etc ... In fact, I've just had to fill in a small direct debit form (after making the recent, suicidal career move of becoming a freelance guitar teacher) and even that has given me writer's cramp!
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Old 25th April 2008, 02:14 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

Longest thing I ever wrote on the Smith-Corona was 45,000 words.

I love the smell of Tippex in the morning...
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Old 25th April 2008, 02:31 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

I started off writing things on a typewriter - when I was a teenager, and had no computer - but the longest I managed was a short story of about two pages. As far as I can remember, I was writing parodies of Mickey Spillane stories ...

Tippex! Now there's an idea! I don't think that occured to me at the time. I must have screwed up at least a rain-forests worth of paper ...
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Old 25th April 2008, 02:57 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

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I take my hat off to anyone who's written anything of any length on a typewriter! I've become totally dependent on spell-check, word count, cut and paste, etc ... In fact, I've just had to fill in a small direct debit form (after making the recent, suicidal career move of becoming a freelance guitar teacher) and even that has given me writer's cramp!
In that case, just think what it must have been like to write the entire thing by hand! Then you have to read, redraft, edit.

I expect they would turn to the type writer once they had something solid.

I always found that typewriters were so much more clunky than writing by hand, to be honest
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Old 25th April 2008, 03:27 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: Novel Word Count

I don't think I'd even consider writing a book by hand ...

I'd probably be grasping my wrist, by the 2nd page, and rolling around the floor in agony.

Or maybe that's a bit over-dramatic ... kind of like the literary equivalent of Man-Flu ...
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