I had a little scare over the weekend. I dusted off my first novel to start querying agents again. I had my query letter ready, my synopsis done. I had a sample of the first few chapters all neat and shiny and decided to check in on the full manuscript to look for errant typos and formatting issues.
When I open the document, I scan the whole thing, so far so good. Not too much work to be done. Then I see it. The word count in the corner.
Holy shit. No.
When I last closed this document, it read 90,000 words. And that still is a little too long for the genre I write in, but 106,000 words? Oh hell no.
I panicked, scanned to doc again in case I accidentally duplicated a chapter. Nope.
So I took a breath and went in with my mental machete sharpened and prepared to hack 16,000 words out of my book.
A few chapters in, I’d gotten it down by about 2000 and was despairing when my husband suggested I email him the story. He popped it into his copy of Word, and looked at me like I was crazy.
His word doc said 90,000 words.
I copy and pasted my whole book back into google docs, where I do all my writing, and got roughly the same word count he did. We tried a few shorter documents with similar results
Turns out, the free word processor I downloaded when I got my new computer last spring can’t count words for shit.
But what a relief. I will rely on my google docs word count from now on. It’s seen me to winning two Nanowrimos, so I think I’m good.
Word count is a finnicky thing, which is why I love the thumb gusset we’re working on today. It is neat, simple, and beautifully symmetrical.
Want to get started on this project, visit the written pattern to find a materials list and links to earlier videos.