Monday, January 19, 2009

First Novel Word Count

Marsha's comment on my post on maximum word counts for first novels proves that I wasn't alone in my ignorance. Of course, nothing is set in stone here, just solid recommendations for an easier (if it can ever be easy) path to an agent's door.

The following two blogs are worth reading: Blood Red Pencil and Fiction Factor.

For a very detailed account of all things related to this, along with hundreds of other tips for making your manuscript agent-worthy, you must read Author! Author! Anne Mini's amazing blog. You name it, she covers it. You can spend hours poring over her postings, but every one of them is a gem. I challenge you to find one thing that you didn't find of value to your writing journey.

I set my Word Counter to show the maximum 90,000 words as the goal, and my newly reducing word count which results from the daily pruning. So now I still show 100% complete, but each day the current words will be getting lower and lower.

Did you know that an italicized word or words should always be underlined in the final manuscript? Apparently italics don't show up well in Courier or Times New Roman, which is the font you should be using for submission. This is just another little thing I'd overlooked through all my research.

And one more that I missed: when you want to show a true paragraph break, where you include an extra line space, you should include the Hash or Pound sign # as a clear indicator for the copy editor, because if your break comes at the end of a page, where an automatic break can occur anyway, you need to be clear that this is, or isn't, a true break point. Hope that makes sense.

Stay well, out there - especially all you folks hanging around in Washington over the next day or so. Poor Kit in England still has the dreaded cough bug. When I read her posting today, I developed one, too, out of sympathy.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky