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View Full Version : Manuscript word count (is title included in word count)


Michael55345
08-19-2010, 08:09 PM
Okay, it says, "Because the only dumb question is the one you don't ask."

Does a manuscript word count include the title or just the story? Thanks.

Bufty
08-19-2010, 08:13 PM
Use whatever count your word processor tells you.

If you are counting by hand - ignore the title.

Doesn't make a fig of difference unless your title is a few hundred words long.

:Hug2:


Okay, it says, "Because the only dumb question is the one you don't ask."

Does a manuscript word count include the title or just the story? Thanks.

Dr.Gonzo
08-19-2010, 08:14 PM
Well MS Word includes all words. As an actual concept by the publisher, you don't need to worry because you usually round it up or down to varying degrees depending on the length of the work (read that as, a few words don't make a difference).

Sevvy
08-19-2010, 11:12 PM
If you hit word count in Word, it includes all words in the body of the document.

But no, you should not include the title in an official word count to a publisher.

Toothpaste
08-19-2010, 11:25 PM
I'm not sure what the biggy is unless we're talking an article for a paper that needs to be precisely so many words. Unless you are going for one of those The Persecution and Assasination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of Monsieur de Sade style titles, it will add maybe 3, 4 words to your count. Not meaningful included or not.

I just use Microsoft word count. No agent/editor has complained yet.

Maxinquaye
08-19-2010, 11:34 PM
You're going to be using approximate wordcount anyway when you write it in a query or in submission.

You shouldn't write 'My story is 94673 words long', you should write 'My story is approx. 95000 words long'.

TWErvin2
08-20-2010, 02:23 AM
Since most markets expect you to round off, a 2-6 word title isn't going to make a big difference either way.

Michael55345
08-20-2010, 04:08 AM
Thanks all for your replies. I realized after Bufty's comment about it not being an issue unless the title is a few hundred words long that it was really an irrelevant question. The title is four letters. It's a short story and in my defense it's the first manuscript I've ever sent anywhere so I was stressing about following the guidelines to the 't'.

Becky Black
08-20-2010, 07:31 PM
And the word counters in different programs come up with different results anyway, because they all use slightly different algorithims to do the count. So especially for a large documents there's a pretty wide margin of error anyway.