Words, words… words!

January 17, 2008

The page count is still climbing.  Actually it took a drastic jump two nights ago when I reformatted the novel.  I’ll explain.

I’ve read authors’ that blog about the progress they’re making on their current book, and specifically how many pages they got done.  When my wife and I started writing ours, we wanted to measure my progress in pages, but if we wrote it to “submission” standards (1″ margins all around, double spacing, etc.), one page in the word processor wouldn’t translate to one page in a printed book.  So, I grabbed a paperback that I thought would have roughly the footprint as what I was writing, and copied a page into Word.  I then played with the spacing and margins until the page that I typed fit exactly onto one page.  With these settings one page in Word would match the print version.

We wrote the first 80 or so pages like that, but two nights ago I decided to reformat it to better fit what a publisher would like.  I had to change my font, some dashes here and there, and so on, but the biggest changes were to the margins and the line spacing.  I went from 1/2″ margins to 1″, and 1.5 line spacing to double spacing.  As you can expect, the page count jumped dramatically: 84 pages turned into 137.

The story is long enough now that even small changes to the formatting cause noticeable jumps in the page count.  Once we get closer to submitting we may have to tweak the formatting further, which would change the page count.  So, instead of worrying about the page count so much, I think I’ll focus more on the word count.  That won’t change with reformatting, yet it is still a measure of the length of the story.

The current word count stands at 36,480.  Yep, this will definitely be a novel.

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