09 June, 2017

Wörter, žodžiai, and Mots #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

#MFRWauthor 52 Week Blog Challenge

Hi, again! And welcome to week 23 of the 52-week Blog Challenge sponsored by MFRW.org

A bit late to the party (again) but as always, better late than never.

This week, we're discussing the Word Count topic for writers.

I'll be including the same for readers as well since I like to add my own twist to things.

For Authors


Word Count can be a real pain but can also be a real help... especially if you suffer from the dreaded hot topic: Writer's Block.

Some say Writer's Block is all in the mind while others truly believe it is a physical ailment that afflicts a majority of us from time to time.

In my case, it's a bit of both.

I'm either too lazy to write anything (often) or I've recently received some horrific news about my work and have become paralyzed in the fingers-to-keyboard department.

Which are both likely to be mental, right?

Anyway, Word Count for writers is a useful tool since we are 'required' to meet a quota for whatever genre we are writing.

In my case (Romance) that is anywhere from 80-120,000 words per novel.

WHEN I enter into a writing spurt, I tend to ignore it and just type, type, type until I am so tired that my eyelids feel like lead.

Then, the following day when I go back to review my work, I'll click on that handy little button at the top left in Word and find out how far I've come in my story.

In June (JuNoWriMo) and November (NaNoWriMo) the Word Count becomes super important to us writers IF we're so inclined to participate.

I did just once for each and made surprising progress both times, but thereafter, I set my own goals and tried very hard to stick to them during those two events.

I never do as well on my own, though, as when I am thoroughly committed, so there is that.

I know the more disciplined writer will read up on writing and take to heart whatever a celebrated author has to say about a certain topic... like Word Count.

You Must Write X Number of Words Per Day or You Are Nothing!

It happens far more often than I care to think, but I just smile and sometimes even giggle my way through such articles.

Not to say that Discipline is a bad thing because it isn't... for just about every other Writer out there save me.

I am probably the most undisciplined creature on Earth, and yes, I will admit that it is reflected in my work (which, at the moment, hasn't been touched upon in a number of MONTHS now).

So, hey, if picking a Number Goal and sticking to it while you write works for you, bravo!

If you truly believe it works to snap one out of the doldrums or Writer's Block, then so be it.

For me, it is simply a question of WHEN and rarely ever HOW I write that matters.

As poorly as I am in the Human Being category of things, I just can't do more than one thing at the same time and never have.

While I work full-time, I work and everything else falls by the wayside.

As a certified Substitute Teacher, I have the luxury of picking my own work hours AND the three summer months off as well.

Which, by the way, commences this Thursday!

I am itching to get back to my novels and write, write, write into the wee hours of the morning day in and day out...

until September rolls around, the $$$ is long gone, and I must go back to another form of work in order to survive.

Bottom Line


This particular Writer has enough problems, issues, and dilemmas to deal with to worry about things like Word Count and rarely, if ever, concerns herself with precise numbers in her work.

Numbers and I do not get along as a rule, and anything that remotely conveys MATH gives me the hives.

Also, there is the benefit of my not having found the courage (or smarts) to submit any of my work to a Brick & Mortar yet, so I'm able to write as much as I want in said Genre and get away with it.

So there.





I count things out of habit, but Words don't tend to be one of them.

For a READER


When it comes to Word Count, I don't get it, really.

I've read enough novels in my time to realize that there are books that could have easily (and more enjoyably) ended at far less WORDS than were necessary.

Others could have continued on for a few more chapters (at least) instead of leaving us (the readers) hanging out to dry in the hopes of our purchasing the next in their series.

And, as mentioned in previous posts, nothing irks this reader more than having to re-read the same words/phrases in the same paragraph or chapter and knowing full well it was simply the author's feeble way of REACHING said Word Count.

There is hardly another explanation for it.

There are things called Novellas, and if an author can't think up enough substance words to meet a Word Count quota, they might want to reconsider their genre goal.

Reviewers will say things like, "It was boring." or "Very dry reading." and "A lot of repetition." when they finish your work and head on over to Amazon (or wherever) to give other potential readers their sound advice about your work.

All I can really say about Word Count from a Reader's perspective is, while we understand you are Quota-Bound to meet a certain number of words in order to get published, it is the Author's responsibility to write words that have meaning, purpose, and flow in order to attract and entertain said Readers.

Pages of dialogue won't work.

Repeating the same words/phrases throughout your work won't help, either.

Yes, it'll get you to that happy place in Word Count land, but believe me, your readers will not share in your joy.

I suppose it might help to 'quote' some of the work I reference, but I can't bring myself to do that, nor do I believe it is ethical.

I know you are intelligent and understand the dilemma I pose as well, but as an example:

Harry liked whiskey almost as much as Harry liked blonds.

The reader (this one at any rate) reads, Harry liked whisky about as much as he did blonds.

Perhaps it's in my DNA to cut to the chase, and that isn't always a good thing, but when I read (and yes, when I write) I prefer to just tell it like it is.

So, to wrap this one up...

I will not READ the names of your leads as often as you prefer to include them in your work, and I will not read the same word/phrase within the same sentence or paragraph of your work because you need to reach that Golden Number.

Be nice and concise when you're writing so that the reader will be able to enjoy your work that much more.

And seriously reconsider your Genre choice if you run out of words before their time.

Hate to admit this aloud, but I've started to avoid purchasing any Kindle novel with more than 300 pages because I truly fear being bored to DEATH by repetition, dry reading, and lack of imagination.





As always, I thank you for dropping by and reading my work.

Here is the Linky Link so that you're able to read what everyone else had to say about this week's topic!




2 comments:

  1. I also like tight, concise writing! Best of luck with the day job issues.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I clicked on the link to your post, I was hoping it was in English. ;-)

    ReplyDelete