Word(s) Count

15466. That’s how many words I’ve written so far in two years worth of time spread over nearly five years for one novel. It makes me feel pathetic and proud all at once. I crossed the 10000 word barrier earlier this year and hadn’t checked my word count ’til now. I’m nowhere near finished with my first draft, but I’m okay with that.

A lot of people in college seem to make a big deal of word count and pages. People I knew were like that in high school too. Me? Not so much.

I could care less if you wrote sixteen pages for your report on this-and-that. Did you say anything meaningful?

Some people love a four page long description of the coffee table a character sets a coffee mug on. On the other hand some could care less about the character’s surroundings, the action is more important to them. I don’t belong to either of these groups.

Quite frankly, I don’t care how many words it takes you to explain something, but you’d better tell me what’s happening and why that coffee table relates to the character’s inner condition or else don’t tell me at all. Half-cooked is how people get salmonella and the like. Reading a half-baked description makes me queasy; I feel like you’re asking me to drink the run-off from the bag of frozen chicken you accidentally left in your car last week.

Chose your words carefully; each one is a two-edged sword.

It’s your words that count, not your word count.

-RJ

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