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Word Count

I’ve actually been surprised with out quickly my novel has been coming along. After figuring out my entire outline during a much-needed creative session with my best friend at Starbucks, I’ve already got chapter one done and chapter two is following closely behind.

…At least that’s what I thought.

My word count for chapter one is, according to the internet, sub-par. Less than 1000 words is too short for a chapter, according to a few people on a writing blog. A good chapter has to be between 2,000 and 4,000 words! Otherwise it’s not worth reading!

Of course, being the over-thinker I am, and no doubt many writers are, I freaked out. Was my novel not going to be good enough if it was under a certain amount of words? Would it not be taken seriously? Am I going to die because my book is short?! (Well, that last one may be an over exaggeration even for me, the queen of over-exaggerating, but still…)

To this, I call bulls**t.

Of course, word count doesn’t matter! Why would anyone pick up a large book with superfluous sentences and too many, unnecessary, boring, unneeded words? (See what I did there?)

I’ve always been the type of person who writes straightforward, and panics with word counts in essays. I say what needs to be said, and nothing more. Sure, for school I’ve learned to say the same sentence five times in different ways to make a “good essay”, but for creative writing, why say more than what needs to be said? I use as many words that is necessary to tell my story the way it needs to be told.

Well, I say that, and I believe that, but part of me still wishes I could write more. Word count is something I’ll probably struggle with for a long time- Not just the number of words itself, but accepting that my novel doesn’t need to be 500,000 words long to be a good novel.

So, if you’re struggling with accepting your word count, I feel you. If you aren’t, or you are able to write monstrous novels that are entertaining and engaging, I envy you. The important thing for us all to remember is that it’s the quality of what you write, not the quantity.

With that, have a wonderful day!

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2 thoughts on “Word Count”

  1. A chapter only needs to be long enough to convey a scene –and I’ve always heard not to exceed 3,000 words. I say make it however long or short it needs to be, whether that’s 1000 or 6000 words. You are exactly right –quality > quantity. 😊

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