Well, I’ve published a few short stories now. They’re not free on Amazon, but hopefully Amazon will price match soon and make them free. They are free on Smashwords, where one of them as received a 4/5 star review. It’s something!
But, like I said, they’re short stories–none more than 5,000 words. So, since my current word count is much higher than that, where has everything else come from? I’ll break it down really quick, for anyone who cares, though only in approximations.
- I’ve written lots of little things before, having been writing since the second grade or so (although, I didn’t attempt my first novel until the third grade, naturally). I’ve counted all of that, taken together, as about 15,000.
- My first, more serious attempt at writing something of length occurred while in college. It was something of a horror/drama, about a weak man being dragged by his escaped convict and abusive ex-wife to her remote and isolated childhood home, so that they could face her buried demons together before she kills him and herself–or, tries to, at least. I wrote about 15,000 words into that (Project name: Closure), before giving it up when school got heavier and whatnot. It obviously didn’t go too far, but it was rather encouraging. I managed to write quite a bit in not too long, and while the writing wasn’t very good, it still happened, and was, in a way, empowering.
- The summer of 2013 saw another abandoned novel project. It was a ‘new’ take on the Peter Pan story, but it got convoluted and out of control rather quickly, and was abandoned after around 70,000 words. I had the story mapped out to the end, but some of the things would have been quite forced, and it was already longer than my target word count of about 60,000 words. The project name for that one was The Last Pan. And, while it too was abandoned, it felt like a really big step forwards.
- The third try’s the charm, right? I started writing Home to Roost in April of 2016, and finished the rough draft…sometime later. September? August? I don’t recall. But it came in at 110,000 words, had a beginning, middle, and end, and received positive feedback from early readers. I’ll be publishing it next month.
- Angela of the Stars was my next writing project. The rough draft is finished, sitting in my hard drive and waiting for some revising. The setting for the story was rather ambitious, compared with Home to Roost, but hopefully I’ll be able to wrestle everything nicely into place for the final draft and a release this summer. That story came in at 120,000 words.
- The last bit of writing that I chose to include in the count was my short stories. Like I said, they’re short, so taken altogether I counted them as about 10,000 words. I mostly do them as a writing exercise, or as something to do when I need a break from the bigger projects, but I publish some, and think they’re pretty fun.
And that’s where my current word count comes from. There’s been big improvement already–enough so that I wouldn’t feel too bad asking somebody to fork over $3 to read my novel. However, there’s still a ways to go.
And, since I’ve talked so much about word counts, let me give you a few examples of word counts from well-known stories:
- Goosebumps stories: 20,000-25,000 words
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 77,000 words
- War and Peace: 587,000 words
- King James Translation of the Holy Bible: 783,000 words
- Artamène/Cyrus the Great, which holds the distinction of being the longest novel ever written: 2,100,000 words
Current Word Count: 343,105