On this, the last day of 2016, I thought I would contemplate my writing related stats for the past year. I wrote five manuscripts, took several months off from writing, edited and revised for several months, beta read four manuscripts for three fellow authors, had one of my manuscripts beta read, had two other manuscripts alpha read, and read 21 books.
It’s somewhat difficult for me to believe I accomplished so much this year, knowing exactly how much time I wasted lazing about the house watching tv and playing video games. When I get excited about a story though, I write nonstop and knock it out pretty quickly. It isn’t uncommon for me to write 50,000 words in two weeks, which is the length of a short full-length novel.
Recommended word counts vary widely for each genre. 50-60k words is standard in several genres, while over 100-115k is often considered too long. Fantasy and science fiction have the worst ranges ever beginning at 55-80k for young adult, averaging around 90-100k for standard manuscripts, and venturing up into the 130-150k for epic/hardcore fantasy.
As a point of reference, here are the word counts for each of the Harry Potter books:
- Sorcerer’s Stone, 76,944
- Chamber of Secrets, 85,141
- Prisoner of Azkaban, 107, 253
- Goblet of Fire, 190,637
- Order of the Phoenix, 257,045
- Half-Blood Prince, 168, 923
- Deathly Hollows, 197,651
Breaking a manuscript down by word count is an easy way to see quantitatively how much you’ve written. So here are my word counts for 2016:
- Part two of a fantasy series, 78,275 words (will be completely reworked)
- Part three of a fantasy series, 72,296 words (unfinished and will be reworked)
- Young Adult coming of age fantasy novel, 179,271 words
- Time travel science fiction story, 42,268 words (originally meant to be a short story-whoops!)
- A Fairy Tale, 57,929 words
- Current project: YA science fiction and part one of a trilogy, 2,178 words (I haven’t finished chapter one yet)
Plus I spent three months revising a manuscript which involved a lot of rewriting and adding new chapters. I know I added more than 20,000 words to it in one revision alone before adding three new chapters to it in another revision, but there is no way to know exactly how many total words I added to that particular manuscript this year.
If you found all of that boring, don’t worry, I’m moving on to books next!
Here is a list of the best books I read this year:
- The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker, 5 stars
- The Final Trade by Joe Hart, 5 stars (part two of The Dominion Trilogy)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 5 stars
- The Last Girl by Joe Hart, 5 stars (part one of The Dominion Trilogy)
- The Hundred Year Flood by Matthew Salesses, 5 stars
- Dragon Marked by Jaymin Eve, 4 stars
I read several other 4 star books, but I’m somewhat torn about them now and don’t want to mention them. The Delphi Effect is YA sci-fi and the first in a series. The Final Trade and The Last Girl are fast paced sci-fi thrillers. The Hundred Year Flood is literary fiction with beautiful prose. I highly recommend all four books.
Here is a toast to 2016 and all that was accomplished in it. May 2017 be every bit as productive without the pressure to measure up or do more than I did last year.