1. Liza
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    Liza Active Member

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    Average Word Count Per Page

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Liza, Jun 8, 2011.

    Okay, I know that the average word count per page is 250, right? Well, I have around 336 per page.
    Is this bad and should I make the text bigger to show how many actual pages I have? Because the standard is only acceptable or do publishers not look at this?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Word count per page is unimportant. The only thing that matters is total word count. You should be writing in size 12 font on standard sized paper, not trying to emulate the look of a published book. Most publishers have manuscript guidelines you can refer to for the correct formatting.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What arron said. When you submit, you will do so in manuscript format. It can vary somewhat from one publisher to another, but the usual standard is something like this:

    the font should be a 12 point, monospace (i.e. not proportional), serif blacki (not colored) font. Courier New is among the most popular fonts among publishers. The entire manuscript should be double-spaced, with a one inch (or two centimeter) margin on all four sides of the page. If a hardcopy manuscript is requested (it often is), it should be printed single sided on white letter-sized (8-1/2" by 11") paper. Do not put extra blank lines between paragraphs. Instead, indent the first line of each paragraph approximately one-half inch or one centimeter.

    For more details, William Shunn's guide on Manuscript Format is widely considered the best general reference.
     
  4. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    It is impossible to go by page. You could have a page that is nothing but dialog bring the word count down to 100 or less. This is on top of the formatting mentioned by Cogito.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you clearly are not using the proper format... simply change your page settings to what cog [and bill shunn] specify and your avg word count per page will be 250...

    and don't ever refer to number of pages, only to total number of words, rounded off to nearest 500/1,000...
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Yep, don't worry about pages. Pages are going to vary based on spacing, font, size, etc. So go by word count only, and don't even worry about that stuff until you're sending it to the publisher. Worry about telling the story.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for posting. I was happily surprised that courier is popular, because´I happen to like it but I thought I "should" use times... Does anyone know if these guidelines are international or US preferences? I have more or less these settings already, except that I use 1,5 instead of double spaced lines since the publishers I submitted to last time said that was good. But I guess 2 is even better (=more easily readable) so im going to change that too. is it true that the ms should have my adress (and what more information??) on each and every page?
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously, just find agents/publishers in your own country and look at their submission guidelines. If they don't provide them, e-mail them and ask. They'll reply, and you'll get your answer.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    And please, please, never use Times New Roman again for anything, ever.

    *shudders*
     
  10. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Care to elaborate? :p
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, sorry if My question upset you... :confused:

    Hahaha, I can almost promise that. Is it arial we use here by the way?
     
  12. stevenchapmanwriter
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    stevenchapmanwriter Member

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    Just reiterating what everyone else has said, but word count per page is not something you should worry about.

    The main thing to concentrate on is the overall word count, and that’s not the most important thing in the world (although there are certain ‘conventions’ for genres), the story is the most important factor. How well it is told and how engaging it is to the reader.

    Don’t worry about making it look like a published book, that's the publishers job!
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What's wrong with Times New Roman? I understand that most publishers want submissions in courier or some other monospace font, but is there something poisonous about Times New Roman in particular?
     
  14. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    In general it's those internet guys that have put Times New Roman on the font black list. For an interesting account of how you'll be ribbed for using it - check out this article on fonts. It is humourous, I know this forum hates links out, but this explains why TNR is so bad...http://www.cracked.com/funny-5647-fonts/

    I personally love Calibri, not for publishing but that's just what I use (size 11, double spaced, with 2cm margins. I get about 300 words to a page if I'm writing prose, as soon as it turns to dialogue it goes down to about 260 words.)
     
  15. cshell
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    cshell New Member

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    Interesting.

    What's your take on the reasoning here?
     
  16. Kontrast
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    Kontrast Member

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    I blame the hate of TNR on the fact that every single teacher in every single High School demanded it for essays. I do find some other fonts easier to read, but I don't necessarily see it as a cardinal sin to use TNR (I've heard some publishers won't even read it if its in TNR so watch out!).
     
  17. cshell
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    cshell New Member

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    This is what I was thinking.
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is pretty ridiculous though, don't you think? I mean, it's A FONT!:rolleyes:
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Publishers publish lots of books and magazines set in Times New Roman. If it's good enough for them to put in front of our eyes, why can't we put it in front of theirs?
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...they're pretty much the standard anywhere... at least in english-speaking countries... you can always check agent/publisher guidelines in your own, if you think there may be differences...

    you should, since that's a mandated standard for the vast majority of agents/publishers/editors...

    no... all of that contact info goes only on the first or cover page... the header on each page does not appear on first page, starts with page 2 and should contain only the author's last name, key word/s of title, and page #... and it goes at the far right...

    so, if it's 'the best novel ever' by joe blow the header would look like this:

    Blow / Best Novel / 2
     
  21. cshell
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    cshell New Member

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    Sometimes agents are looking for any reason to toss a manuscript aside. When they have 100 MS's of 250 - 500 pages each...
     
  22. thaiqr
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    thaiqr Member

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    In my personal opinion, it's nice to be able to see how far into your work you are. Word count works, but it's nicer to be able to look down and see that you've written 150 pages or somewhat. And at that, you know that they are formatted in the correct novel format. So you've written 150 novel pages.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are well-established word counts for first novels (80,000 to 120,000 words, best not to exceed 100,000 words). Measure your progress against that, and forget about page counts.
     
  24. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Times New Roman is just ugly, basically. It isn't particularly easy to read either. I mean, people say they find it easier than some fonts, but compared to a lot of similar serif fonts, Times is quite poorly spaced, quite soullessly designed, it's too narrow, the serifs are too sharp and the angle isn't consistent. Most of those faults are blamed on the fact that it's a newspaper font, which is fine, but why do people insist on using it on computers then?
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Times New Roman is also a poor choice for manuscripts because it is a proportional font. Narrow letters are squeezed closer than wide letters; great for making the best use of space, but not great for picking out typos.

    Typewriters generate monospace (fixed width) fonts, and that is why they were initially preferred for manuscripts -- editors were used to them. But when they tried switching to proportional fonts, they discovered those fonts are much harder to proofread.

    Serif fonts are preferred over non-serif because they make it easier to distinguish similar-looking characters.
     

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