Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Panic Mode + Coffee

So it works itself out to be something like this:

A. Most debut novels are somewhere between 300-400 pages. Generally speaking.

B. When you actually count out the number of words per published page, it averages out to around 260. Generally speaking.

C. So that’s between 78,000 and 104,000 words. Ish.

I’m not a math person, so I’m already losing myself in this, but let me try to keep going. I have a point here:

My average page of writing has somewhere between 400-500 words per page.

That’s nearly double the average 260 words on a published book page. 

So I’m saying all this because I was freaking myself out about my goal amount that I want to write for my first draft vs. the amount I’m going to need to be able to start querying agents with (after I’ve bled out my third/fourth/tenth draft).

My goal for draft number one is 200 pages by the end of February/beginning of March 2012. I’m going to need to write 4-5 pages per day to reach that goal. Okay, I can do that. I am the little engine who could.

But I was worried 200 pages wasn’t enough? Panic mode with too much coffee is never a pretty thing. Hubs was patient. He suggested I do this math problem that blahdedyblah-blah basically works out how many words per page in published books, blahdedyblah, I’m still not a math person. 

We figured out my 200 pages times 400-500 words is between 80,000 and 100,000. Which if you’ll refer to line C above is just about right.


So everything’s fine, here. We can all move happily along in our day. This is just another example of writerly worry-bits and things to think about in the trade of the writerly business. Though I don't know if any of this is really accurate according to an actual agent and/or publishing house, it helped stop the panic for now.

If anyone out there in the ether is reading this who has more authentic, concrete, insider tips, and is willing to share, please let me know?

Total pages logged as of today: 136 + 2 pages of other writing. 

Moment of Magic today:
In tribute of Valentine's Day, I'm resurrecting an oldy-goldy...

*Disclaimer -- the version of this song that I'm familiar with uses the word "brother" where the original version (and because the song is so old, all I can really find is variants of the original) uses the N-word. I have mixed thoughts about this, but I still love the song. If anything, it intensifies the message. So. I'm still including the video, but if you object to hearing that word used, please don't listen to this song. Or at the very least, skip to the end somewhere around 2 minutes, 30 seconds.


  1. Break A Leg, Kiddo!! You're Doing Great!

  2. Obviously I am reading this several months later than you shared it, but thanks to having found your catalog of writing adventure updates, tonight has been fascinating and educational!! You cannot believe the timing either... Thank you for sharing the nuts and bolts as well as the inspiration to get to task!

    1. My pleasure entirely. Thanks for commenting several months later so I know it's helping people out there reading :)


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