A Note About Word Counts

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m always looking for ways to avoid doing some writing. Yeah, yeah, I know. But it’s not like this is my job or something. It’s a hobby. Always has been and unless something dramatic happens it always will be.

And as a hobby, the stuff ‘around’ the actual writing is something I find interesting just as much as the writing itself. And one of those things is word counts. At heart, I’m a stat hound. I love numbers, that’s why I work with them day in and day out. And, to me at least, and don’t hate me for this, there are few things quite as satisfying as a well-formatted, informative spreadsheet.

As you’ll know if you read this blog on anything like a regular basis, I’ve been reformatting some of my older short stories and I’m planning to go through some of my previously released novels too—particularly because three of them have gone out of print thanks to the publisher closing.

Well, as part of this, I’ve now got a ‘template’ book, from which I can just copy the front and back matter for each book. And because I use Calibre to keep on top of all my books and their status (more on this in future post) I know exactly what the word count is for that template and for each of my books, despite them being in, predominantly, ePub format.

That’s the case for the short short stories in any case. It’s slightly different for the longer short stories and the novels. For those I have a spreadsheet (Yay! Spreadsheets!) where I track the length of each chapter, so I have not only a total word count for the manuscript, but also the average chapter length.

Cool, huh?

What do you mean, “No.”?

Anyway, here’s the current word count for my novels and for the short stories I’ve reformatted in recent weeks/months.

TitleTotalChapter Average
A Tortured Soul       121,802    4,200
A Good Man          96,632    1,972
Kissed by a Rose          90,219   
Eternally & Evermore          87,289    1,679
The Truths We Live          82,689    3,063
The Lies we Lead          67,305    2,926
A Wounded Heart          30,689    3,836
Lost & Found          27,022    6,756
Charlotte’s Secret          16,720    5,573
The Slumber Party          16,613    5,538
The Big Four Ohhh!          14,423    4,808
Sophie’s Tutor            7,850  
Claire            6,655  
Banging My Teammates            6,497  
Measuring up            5,686  
Extended Family            4,342  
Bus Stop            3,932  
Our Memorable Holiday            3,292  
Scratched            3,086  
Holodeck            2,741  
Sun, Sea & Shagging            2,437  
Would Twins do this?            1,126  

Couple of things to note here:

  • There isn’t an average chapter length for Kissed by a Rose yet as I’m currently editing it for re-publication.
  • A Wounded Heart is still being written, so this obviously isn’t a final word count, but it is where I’m at right now. I think this will end up a similar length to A Tortured Soul
  • The Truths We Live is a completed first draft, so this is very likely to change once I start editing it (which I’ll start doing after I’ve edited Kissed by a Rose)

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