Word Count and Rabbit Holes, et al. *grins*

Over the last couple of days, I posted about word count and a dollar. A lot of people saw it as a discussion on sales. Or about if the story was worth it. Or even if they trusted the author. Which are all good discussions. But see… this was one of my rabbit holes.

So, here’s the thing.

The story is kind of like Schrödinger’s cat. The rabbit hole in question… the how does a buck break out among word count is actually a discussion on how my Asperger’s brain works. Or where the “Quinn” part of my brain lives.

You see, it’s kind of like working a geometry proof. Or really like falling down a rabbit hole.

The discussion about word count and a dollar really doesn’t have anything to do with sales, or if the story that the reader is buying is worth the buck or even if I am taking it account the finished product or the cut Amazon or a publisher would make. Those are all very valid points and when I’m in authoring mode and doing the whole business thing, I’m there with that.

This was a worm burrowing down into my brain and I had to dig it out so I could move on and do something else. Trust me when I say, I do not ever stop what I’m doing to do perform random math equations. 😀

It’s a very tightly boxed in idea of… how much would a buck break down to an hour based on different word counts?

Nothing else mattered in that equation because it wasn’t… important? Relevant? It wasn’t a part of the rabbit hole.

Usually my Asperger’s leads me down non-math rabbit holds. I can do maths. God knows, I’ve done my share of maths and I prefer spatial math but it’s not where my left turns usually go so I found in fascinating my path went in that direction.

Then as I began breaking everything down and posted it, I realized I’d left out the most important part of the whole thing… that left turn is an Asperger’s turn. Stuff that bubbles up to the surface and my brain won’t shake it off until I go after that rabbit.

So I do thank you all for giving your input because it does help me shape how things work out.

There’s no variables often in a math left turn. Or a scientific one. Usually there’s set boxes the discussion happens in and then once it’s over, it’s wrapped up and put away. *grins* And I might forget that I even thought about it.

UNLESS it’s something really interesting in which case it burrows down into my head and lays there in wait like an alligator until I need it for something….

Like a book. *laughs*

So thank you for coming down the rabbit hole with me. Next time, I hope it’ll be something interesting. God only knows. *grins*

“I’d buy that for a dollar.” Or… Word Count and a Buck

Yesterday I asked in my FB group, how many words would you expect for a dollar and the results were interesting to say the least. So, this is a good reference of how the time pays out. Mostly I did it as an exercise to something someone said on a blog post about how they weren’t willing to pay more than a dollar for 45,000 words and it got me to thinking about how much that would cost out for an author’s time.
This is NOT a statement on pricing, an author’s worth or any obligation on the reader. Seriously, this was a… hmmm, I wonder moment and I needed a break from writing. I really needed a rabbit hole to fall into because my brain had to reboot a scene. Trust me. This happens a lot. Be thankful it went to math this time instead of how to bunion surgery. Which IS fascinating but not something to watch on a shared screen. Also, centipedes hunting can also cause WTFs to come at you from various friends when you share them in chat. So… mathing was a safer option.

Word count for a chapter can vary greatly among authors but for example, the first chapter of Dirty Kiss was 5,345 words which is a little long. The first chapter of Sinner’s Gin (not including the prologue or the opening vignette) was 4,400 words which is about the high end of my average. Most of my chapters run 3,500 to 4,500 words.

But, Hair of the Dog, a freebie done for a blog tour, was 7,900 words.

And for reference: For print books, a mass-market paperback runs around 300-350 words per page. A trade paperback (6″x9″) (or hardcover) runs around 350-400. eReaders vary too much to have an average because the fonts and sizes change per user.

Prices below are averaged based on $1 USD divided by the amount of hours needed to write 10,000 words. This is based on an actual project I’m currently doing and is about average for the speed I write. This only includes the initial word count and not plotting things out, research or editing the first pass.

  • 30,000 words for $1 USD / 11.5 hours: 8.7 cents an hour
  • 20,000 words for $1 USD / 7.7 hours: 13 cents an hour
  • 10,000 words for $1 USD / 3.83 hours: 26 cents an hour

Caveat: These are based on how I write and results vary tremendously per author. I only have myself to base numbers on so take the words per hour rate with a grain of salt the size of Lot’s wife’s head because it’s in no way a universal reference.

In reality, the project I’m basing these numbers on was begun on March 10 and stands at 30K on April 6. Each chapter took on an average of 4.5 days to complete so the 11.5 hours is scattered among that time period. That time period includes the plotting, research, light editing, a day job and various other adulting things like sleep, meals and laundry.

Now how long is a novel*?
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, on the other hand, classifies submissions for its Nebula Awards series into four categories:

  • Short story: under 7,500
  • Novelette: between 7,500 and 17,500
  • Novella: between 17,500 and 40,000
  • Novel: over 40,000

Approximate Industry Average Standard for Genres:

  • Commercial and literary novels are 80,000 to 110,000 words
  • Science fiction and fantasy novels are 100,000 and 115,000 words
  • Romance novels are 80,000 and 100,000 words
  • Mysteries and Thrillers are 70,000 to 85,000 words

There are exceptions and even within a genre those averages vary a lot. Like the difference between a cozy and a psychological thriller word count is usually about 10,000 to 20,000 words. All depends on the subject and the writer.

Honestly, I just thought it was an interesting breakdown to share and very helpful for plotting out blog tours and freebies as well as short story offerings. I fall down rabbit holes of information sometimes and get skewed off into research and then come up for air and say… huh, how does this apply? It’s good to get a reference for work and to delve down into the nuts and bolts of word count and how to make good use of time without losing your brain.

By the way, this post is about 620 words and took me half an hour to write but about an hour to research and math. *grins*

* Reference: https://blog.reedsy.com/how-many-words-in-a-novel/

The Days Are Definitely A Blur

Well… sorta.

I’ve been keeping track of what day of the week it is. Hopefully we’ll go back to Borking Days on Tues and Friday soon. Gus does need to get out and it’s actually really better for him if he has a walker he doesn’t live with so here’s hoping we get that going again this week.

If not, then I’ll take him out.

I’ve been watching Hiro learn how to cook stuff every once in a while. For those who might sorta recognize him, he’s been Kamen Rider and the lead in Black Butler. If you ever wanted to learn how to make tempura, here it is.

I’ve got smoked hamhocks in the Instapot with sauteed onions and garlic. I’ll be adding sausage and collard greens to it once that’s gone through the pressure stage. And of course, make some rice and that’s dinner. They didn’t have 3 lbs of hock but I did have a smoked pork shank in the freezer so that went in this time. We also have to polish off the sweet ginger-cucumber kimchee I made so I can make the next batch. Also, eat the regular kimchee that is in there.

Almost done with this project then rolling into the next. After that, Saint. Because of course I do need to finish up the 415 Ink boys. Working from home doesn’t really give much MORE time for writing but it does mean I don’t have to lose an hour in commute so that’s nice. And well, the dog’s all… I’ll get up when I get up because I sure as fuck don’t need to be awake at 5:30 am. Feel the love from the dog.

Hopefully all of you are staying safe and healthy. Remember to wash your hands and call relatives and friends. Oh, and hug your pets. But not the fish. That would be bad.

Thank you to the service industry people who make Flattening The Curve possible!

One of the most interesting things about being in “isolation mode” has been getting things to make other things because stuff’s in short supply. Some stuff like kimchi is impossible to find in the stores nearby and while I could leave the house and go to Zion or HMart, it would really break that isolation we’ve been in. Since I was hella sick a little bit ago, I don’t want to chance anything.
 
Now, we order thru SHIPT or Instacart and I got a shopper who sent this. I think it’s adorable because she’s like… I HAVE NO IDEA!
 
It’s been kind of fun interacting with our shoppers because one lady was all… WHAT IS THIS? It looks good! I want to try it!
 
I tip well and always make sure they stay safe. Our shopper right now said, they have paper towels, one package left. It’s not on your list but do you need it?
 
I said nope, leave it for someone who does but can I tell you she earned a HUGE tip just for asking. So for everyone out there shopping, driving, delivering and doing all of the things we can’t do because we’re flattening the curve… THANK YOU!

GSA Trefoils Stay At Home Noms!

Stuck at home and looking for something to stress bake? Have a sweet tooth and a pile of Trefoils? Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe from Junior Girl Scout Cara! Need cookies to bake this (or just to eat)? In-person sales have ended for 2020 but you still have two weeks to buy online and have them shipped to you! 

https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/carolyn875729

 

Wonderland City now a Standalone Novella up for Pre-Order!

Since the Devil Take Me has ended, if you didnt get the Devil Take Me anthology or would like Wonderland City (or Collared) as a stand alone, they are up for preorder on DSP! Available on 28 April 2020.
Audiobooks (narrated by Greg Tremblay) of the novellas to follow.
 
Best part! TA Moore did the cover for Collared. I’m asking they change the credit because that’s all her work! WOOOT!

WOOOOOT! Contract Signed and A Title for Kai 4!

Took me a bit to get the title down. Sometimes I can’t get that going until the end, especially for Kai but this one finally stepped into place. It’s a definite shift in his world and while for me, it was a brutal write, I still had fun with it. Both delicate and brutal. So… there we go and in the immortal words of the Foo Fighters…

Done, done and I’m on to the next one…