1. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    Vital(?) statistics

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by stubeard, Sep 28, 2010.

    I'm a bit of a fan of statistics so I was hoping we could get a thread going just to share some pointless ones about our WIPs or our recently-finished pieces.

    Here's a few about my current WIP (teenage, action-adventure fiction, hopefully getting up to around 90,000 words):

    Words: 7015
    Paragraphs: 218
    Speechmarks: 375
    Exclamation marks: 9 (that's surprising low for me - thankfully!)
    MC number one's name: 120 times
    MC number two's name: 49 times
    'said': 37 times
    'the': 666 times
    'and': 233 times
    'but': 47 times

    Any other stats anyone can think of would be cool to see, although I can't think of what other instances to look up right now.

    (For those who don't know how to search in Word, press Ctrl+F, type the word in the box and then click "Find In -> Main Document")
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    17, 391 words and counting. 430 paragraphs.

    Too lazy to do the rest lol. :)
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh, I love stats :p Never thought of looking at things like words and names before :)

    For my current favourite project, which is going pretty well at the moment, if I say so myself...

    Words: 63524
    Paragraphs: 1383 <- and I learnt something new trying to find out how to search those in Open Office :p
    Speechmarks: 2104
    Exclamation marks: 185
    MC number one's name: 20 times (first person) (and he's referred to by his surname a couple of times too)
    MC number two's name: 218 times
    'said': 293 times
    'the': 5046 times
    'and': 1715 times
    'but': 341 times

    (56129 words without the saids, ands, buts, and thes :p)
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first novel, aimed at kids aged 9-12. I'm aiming for about 50k.

    Words: 43,577
    Paragraphs: 1,455
    Lines: 3,695

    aaaand I didn't know how to do the rest, lol.
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oooh, getting close. Grats. :p
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    WIP: What About Us? goal about 100,000 word fantasy novel

    Current: 524 words (was 20,000 until last night lol)
    Paragraphs: 9
    MC name: 2
    and: 8 times
    but: 0 times
    say/said: 1 time
     
  7. mummymunt
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    mummymunt Member

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    Since I have about a billion works in progress, I've chosen one of the ones that is actually recognisable as a story, even though it's not finished :)

    WIP - romance (ugh, that is so embarrassing! lol.)
    TITLE - none yet
    WORD COUNT - 28,132
    SPEECH MARKS - 1233
    EXCLAMATION POINTS - 46 (Hmm, is that too many?)
    QUESTION MARKS - 266
    PARAGRAPHS - 918
    MC NUMBER ONE'S NAME - written in first person, so hard to work this one out!
    MC NUMBER TWO'S NAME - 276 times
    MC NUMBER THREE'S NAME - 97 times
    'said' - 138 times
    'the' - 1625 times
    'and' - 793 times
    'but' - 145 times
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    EXCLAMATION POINTS - 46 (Hmm, is that too many?)

    You have one every 600 words on average, while mine are more than half that, every 300 words, roughly. (yes I know that is exactly half but the actual maths was a bit more precise :p)

    My story is a pretty silly one, though. Tends to be more extreme statements.

    Hm, now I'm interested what it is for one of my more serious novels. I have a finished one lurking. :p hang on, I'll be back. :D

    Apparently, I just really like exclamation points. This was my mostly-serious romance novel. :p Has a huge number of thes and ands compared to my fantasy. The other stats didn't seem too far out, except obviously it's 3rd person. :p

    Words: 77444
    Paragraphs: 1981
    Speechmarks: 3592
    Exclamation marks: 295
    MC 1 1017
    MC 2 984
    'said': 455 times
    'the': 4996 times
    'and': 2288 times
    'but': 378 times
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I know my exclamation point count is close to zero. We reporters are born with a certain amount of exclamation points, and when we use the last one, we die...in other words I've been trained to avoid them lol.

    How do you see how many times you use a name? I did the "find" thing and it highlighted each time her name was used, but not the number of uses. I'd be interested in learning this, actually. :)
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are all your characters reporters? They might use them. All my exclamation points are in dialog.

    To find how many instances of a word there are, do CTRL-F, type the word, select Find In -> Main Document. It highlights all instances of the word, and says in the Find window how many occurrences there are. At least it does in Word 2007.

    I have about seven or eight WIPs, but the biggest is a novel I only have the first draft of. That first draft stats:

    Words: 72,357
    Paragraphs: 1,760
    MC1: 419
    MC2: 460 (Slightly more than MC1 - weird ...)
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Well my primary MC is and I report too.

    The other main characters are shady government conspiracy types who talk vaguely about issues to skirt around them, so they're not doing much exclaiming.

    But I see what you mean.

    I'm going to try out the word-finder now. Thanks a ton. Rep given.

    MC's name used 82 times. :D

    Thanks again.
     
  12. mummymunt
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    mummymunt Member

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    Exclamation Points!!!

    Yeah, there are a lot of heated discussions in this story, and the exclamation points just seem to wiggle their way in there. The things they say just don't look right without them :)
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's a pretty heavy use of bangs (exclamation marks). I would really recommend cutting back. You should be conveying the intensity more by context than by punctuation.

    If your character is leaning forward, red-faced, in inch from the other person's nose, and showering them with spittle, the bang is rather superfluous.

    Save the bangs for clearance sale ads, where they can be lurid and tacky in their twenty-four point bright red splendor.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    What draft is it and is it first or third person?
     
  15. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not adding another 30,000 words onto my story by putting a description before or after every heated discussion, loud comment, or personal exclamation... :eek: I save a strong description for where one's needed... It'd be a bit ridiculous to have a line like that every 3 paragraphs. :p
     
  16. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Exclamation marks can be overused but they still have a place. Getting rid of them entirely is just throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
     
  17. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tend to use them on lines where emphasis is needed, but isn't actually, like, emotionally impactful. For example, here's a bit I was just typing up:

    it's pretty plot important, but neither character arguing are learning anything from the experience, so there'd be no point adding on a, "she cried in despair, flinging up her hands" because, well, if the reader wants to interpret that from the ! and my previous telling of the character, then great - if not, it's a line I needed to put in there, but really isn't going to be something in 100 pages you'll necessarily remember, or need to. But it's still dramatic because A: the character's a bit nuts, and B: monotone sucks. :p The first line from her gets a description, because I wanted to actually show her emotional response (horror that they were doing a lot worse at being in disguise than they thought) because it's a part of her established personality (being a perfectionist). After that line, it can act as a prompt for a "yeah but I know your type" and then a huge plot point is revealed.
     
  18. stubeard
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    stubeard Active Member

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    I tend to use them when the dialogue comes right in without a pause, and I want the reader to realise this when they read the words rather than having to wait for the tag or beat to show them how the line is delivered, or putting the tag first, disrupting the flow of the argument.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No one said every bang must be removed. Nor is it necessary to inflate a story by 30000 words to cut back on them.

    Melzaar, in the example you just gave, the bang can be replaced by a period quite readily. The tone and tension are quite apparent from the wording alone.

    Overuse of exclamation marks is a bad habit.
     
  20. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Clearly you are not acquainted with my writing style. :p I'm in a constant state of trying not to put down 4 million extra words to every 2 I decide to type. :p I need shortcuts like exclamation points - trust me when I say there's more than enough stuff already being over-thought in my writing... :p

    Aaanyway, I read sentences which end in full stops as being quite measured - and if they're a statement like the one above, I'd start reading in a lot more for hearing it said in an understated way. Like, it could be sceptical, worried, and so on. Maybe if I wanted it up for interpretation I'd go with a flat tone. But exclamation points make it a lot clearer which of the million emotions it could be said with it should be read as.
     
  21. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is very interesting, I should really check my stat count for some abnormalities as well when I get home, though I know on my last check, my word count was at about 120K, but still a considerable amount remains to be edited.
     
  22. Axo Non Roadkill
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    Axo Non Roadkill Member

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    My first novel, in German, gave this:

    Total word count : 28329
    Number of different words : 6380
    Complexity factor (Lexical Density) : 22.5%
    Readability (Gunning-Fog Index) : (6-easy 20-hard) 6.5
    Total number of characters : 182339
    Number of characters without spaces : 147831
    Average Syllables per Word : 1.62
    Sentence count : 2493
    Average sentence length (words) : 12.15
    Max sentence length (words) : 66
    Min sentence length (words) : 1
    Readability (Alternative) beta : (100-easy 20-hard, optimal 60-70) 57

    Most-used word:
    And (Und): 986

    Commas: 2458
    Most-used capital letter: S, 1109
    Most-used small letter: e, 22840
     

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