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Random Question - Words vs. Pages

Miscellaneous By: Divena

Do you judge a story's length by pages or word count?

Submitted:Apr 18, 2008    Reads: 620    Comments: 2    Likes: 0   

I used to be all about the pages. For example, I'd proudly proclaim that my story is 200 pages long! That's a lot! But then I started looking into what it would take to get my stuff published and I realized just how unreliable the number of pages was. A lot of places wanted to have my manuscript double spaced with one inch margins all around. Well, the second I did that, my page count would go up from 200 to 250 (normally I do 1.5 spacing and font size 12 Times New Roman with the default margins). Now, yeah, a 50 page jump is still pretty impressive, but if I single spaced all of a sudden it was 150 pages and I would thing "Damn! This isn't as long as I thought it was."

That was around the time when I looked it up online. A novel is considered a novel when it's 60k or longer. That's less than 200 pages. I think a short story is something like 7k or less, and a novella is 20-60k (don't hold me to that, I don't remember the exact numbers. I just know that 60k+ is a novel and 200k+ is an "epic" novel). So, with this knowledge in mind, I started basing how long my stories were by word count and totally ignoring how many pages there were.

Since I started doing that, I realized just how freaking long my stories are. I mean, 100k words sounds so much longer than 200-odd pages, right? But it's the same length (give or take). I also found that it was easier to give myself goals. Like I would decide I'll write 6k words today (I can average about 9k if I'm not too busy and going at a good clip), and I'd feel so proud of myself when I meet or exceed that goal. Rather than struggling with how many pages I wrote, it always feels like I've accomplished a lot more.

So, today's question: Do you judge your story by word count or how many pages it is?


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