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Writer2011
08-11-2005, 11:45 PM
I have a question. If you have 8,000 words how many pages is that in a novel form? I know a lot of it has to do with typeset and all... I guess what i'm asking is that I have 8,000 words and wondered how many pages that would roughly be?

OneTeam OneDream
08-11-2005, 11:51 PM
I have a question. If you have 8,000 words how many pages is that in a novel form? I know a lot of it has to do with typeset and all... I guess what i'm asking is that I have 8,000 words and wondered how many pages that would roughly be?

If you go by the standard 250 word per page formula it would be about 32 pages.

Writer2011
08-11-2005, 11:55 PM
Thanks.

Writer2011
08-12-2005, 06:33 PM
I'm up to 11,000 words now...What's a normal word count for a good mystery novel?

Julie Worth
08-12-2005, 07:12 PM
If you go by the standard 250 word per page formula it would be about 32 pages.

No no no! 250 is the per-page word count of the ms in standard format. A 400 page ms in standard format is 100,000 words, regardless of the computer count. There have been many discussions on this forum as to the different types of counts and as to what the standard format is. Do a search. For something in the thriller genre (and probably mystery as well), 80-120 k would be a safe range for an aspiring writer. That is, 320-480 ms pages in standard format (1" margins, 25 lines per page, double spaced, Courier New or Courier Dark 12pt.)

Writer2011
08-12-2005, 07:14 PM
Thank you Julie... :) I am up to 14,000 or so... I know i've got a long way to go :) but thank you...

Julie Worth
08-12-2005, 07:23 PM
Thank you Julie... :) I am up to 14,000 or so... I know i've got a long way to go :) but thank you...You wrote 3,000 words in the past hour?!

Writer2011
08-12-2005, 07:25 PM
Actually I thought it was 11,000 but it was 14,000...my mistake.. :) Actually now it's 15,000 :)

Julie Worth
08-12-2005, 07:29 PM
Actually I thought it was 11,000 but it was 14,000...my mistake.. :) Actually now it's 15,000 :)
From that I can't tell if you're speeding up or slowing down. But it seems you've written 7,000 in less than 24 hours. May I ask what supplements you're on?

Writer2011
08-12-2005, 07:33 PM
Life....:) I'm a relatively fast typer and plus things just keep coming to me!!! I like this story.

OneTeam OneDream
08-13-2005, 04:04 AM
No no no! 250 is the per-page word count of the ms in standard format. A 400 page ms in standard format is 100,000 words, regardless of the computer count. There have been many discussions on this forum as to the different types of counts and as to what the standard format is. Do a search. For something in the thriller genre (and probably mystery as well), 80-120 k would be a safe range for an aspiring writer. That is, 320-480 ms pages in standard format (1" margins, 25 lines per page, double spaced, Courier New or Courier Dark 12pt.)


So, I don't get where I was wrong...........

Julie Worth
08-13-2005, 05:22 AM
So, I don't get where I was wrong...........Oddly, he was talking about the number of pages in a book...it seemed to me, anyway.

OneTeam OneDream
08-13-2005, 05:36 AM
Oddly, he was talking about the number of pages in a book...it seemed to me, anyway.


I took it as he was asking how many pages he would have with the total number of words he had written......oh well.

Writer2011
08-13-2005, 08:13 AM
Maybe I should clarify...:) If I have say 80,000 words how many pages of a book would that net? :)

Julie Worth
08-13-2005, 03:19 PM
Is it a hardback, paperback, or mass market? What size font, what spacing, what margins? What sort of chapter divisions, how far down on the page? Pick up a variety of books and you'll see that all of these can vary.

Still...for a paperback, take the number of pages you're shooting for in the book, multiply by 1.4, and that will be the page count of your ms in standard format. You want a 300 page paperback? You need 420 pages of manuscript.

Writer2011
08-13-2005, 08:08 PM
The typeset is Courier New 12 pt... double spaced!!! Right now i'm not sure if I want hardback or paperback... Thank you :)

David McAfee
08-13-2005, 10:27 PM
Is it a hardback, paperback, or mass market? What size font, what spacing, what margins? What sort of chapter divisions, how far down on the page? Pick up a variety of books and you'll see that all of these can vary.

Still...for a paperback, take the number of pages you're shooting for in the book, multiply by 1.4, and that will be the page count of your ms in standard format. You want a 300 page paperback? You need 420 pages of manuscript.

Julie - Using that formula in reverse, I take the current 514 page total, divide by 1.4, and come up with 367 and change. I wasn't sure how long I wanted my first book to be, but I did want it to stretch to at least 300 pages. It would seem I have accomplished this and then some. My questions is this:

Is that too long for a first novel, do you think?

Julie Worth
08-13-2005, 10:42 PM
Julie - Using that formula in reverse, I take the current 514 page total, divide by 1.4, and come up with 367 and change. I wasn't sure how long I wanted my first book to be, but I did want it to stretch to at least 300 pages. It would seem I have accomplished this and then some. My questions is this:

Is that too long for a first novel, do you think?

Depends on the genre, of course. At 128,000 words, it seems to me that you're at the outside of the desired range, but probably acceptable. I'll bet your computer count is closer to 110,000, right? If so, I'd use the lower number in queries. (I had a publisher request a SF ms a few months ago, saying that the minimum acceptable was 100,000. Alas, mine was 75.)

David McAfee
08-13-2005, 10:51 PM
Depends on the genre, of course. At 128,000 words, it seems to me that you're at the outside of the desired range, but probably acceptable. I'll bet your computer count is closer to 110,000, right? If so, I'd use the lower number in queries. (I had a publisher request a SF ms a few months ago, saying that the minimum acceptable was 100,000. Alas, mine was 75.)

Julie - Actually, the word count is roughly 130,000, and that is using Word's tool for word count. Granted, it's still in revision, so that number is not concrete.

Julie Worth
08-13-2005, 10:57 PM
Julie - Actually, the word count is roughly 130,000, and that is using Word's tool for word count. Granted, it's still in revision, so that number is not concrete.

Huh...when you mentioned the 500+ pages, were those actual pages using the standard format? If it is, is it all in one chapter or something? Are you starting new chapters on a new page, 1/3 of the way down?

Something isn't right.

David McAfee
08-13-2005, 11:55 PM
Huh...when you mentioned the 500+ pages, were those actual pages using the standard format? If it is, is it all in one chapter or something? Are you starting new chapters on a new page, 1/3 of the way down?

Something isn't right.

Julie - The ms is typed in double-spaced, 12 point Courier New, and each chapter's end, I insert a page break. There are 15 chapters total. In it's current unrevised state (revisions are being done on a separte copy, and on a chapter-by-chapter basis), the Word utility gives me the following information pertaining to word count:

Pages: 514
Words: 129,808
Characters (no spaces): 543,167
Characters (with spaces): 672,659
Paragraphs: 1,441
Lines: 12,616

Julie Worth
08-14-2005, 12:06 AM
Amazing! For once the two methods of counting words come out the same.

David McAfee
08-14-2005, 12:26 AM
Amazing! For once the two methods of counting words come out the same.

-David shook his head, wondering if he had to remind Julie of his Newbie status again.-

Um... Huh? Ya lost me....

Julie Worth
08-14-2005, 12:35 AM
-David shook his head, wondering if he had to remind Julie of his Newbie status again.-

Um... Huh? Ya lost me....

One way of counting words is to trust Word to count them. The old way, still preferred for good reasons, is to put the ms in standard format and multiply the pages by 250. Usually, especially if there's a lot of short dialogue and short chapters, the second method will give you a larger number (because white space counts as words). It actually could go the other way, if you have dense text, with long words, long paragraphs, and long chapters (not much white space).


The confusion comes in because neither method has a name (except sometimes the first one is called computer count), and both are used, generally without being specified. In your case it doesn't matter--you've got 128 k either way.

David McAfee
08-14-2005, 12:59 AM
One way of counting words is to trust Word to count them. The old way, still preferred for good reasons, is to put the ms in standard format and multiply the pages by 250. Usually, especially if there's a lot of short dialogue and short chapters, the second method will give you a larger number (because white space counts as words). It actually could go the other way, if you have dense text, with long words, long paragraphs, and long chapters (not much white space).


The confusion comes in because neither method has a name (except sometimes the first one is called computer count), and both are used, generally without being specified. In your case it doesn't matter--you've got 128 k either way.



Ok, I get it now. Thanks for the explanation. The word count is probably going to change a bit after the latest revision. I've already lost two pages from Chapter One trying to curb over explanation and verbosity while inserting more dialogue.