Monthly Archives: April 2013

word counts omg

This is a bit of an awkward question, but I’m sort of wondering if anyone else is as morbidly interested and curious about word counts as I am? I found this post here (sidenote: I really recommend this blog!) : http://nicolehumphrey.net/word-count-for-famous-novels/

and this author went through a lot of the more well-known novels and listed the word count. For whatever reason, I LOVE knowing exactly how long the Harry Potter books, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and other books I’ve loved, are. And I love the range. There are novels that clock in around 30,000 words, while others are monsters up around 600K (I can’t even imagine writing something that long O_o).

I’m the type who doesn’t plan through any of my writing before I start–I just begin, and the story takes me where it wants to go (yes, sometimes this is rough.) But I’m thinking, maybe the fact that I write this way has something to do with my fascination with word counts. I don’t plan; (most of) the content and the length are a mystery to me in the beginning. So, how long it takes me to get the story down, how many words end up being enough, is hard to predict. The shortest novel I’ve ever wrote is around 75,000 words. The longest is around 120,000. So, I really don’t have a gaping range (I’ve written six novels. Not all of these are final versions, obviously). The average novel is 80,000 words or so, so…I’m pretty predictable for an  unpredictable person. Another thing I like about the whole word count stats thing, is that it gives me an idea of how the book I’m writing will feel in my hand once I’ve published it–how thick, how many pages in a paperback format. It’s so different from how it appears on microsoft word.

I’ve noticed looking through the list on Nicole’s blog, that all of my favorite books are under 200K. Of course, most of the books on that list are under that number. It just leads me to pondering other questions, like:

~Is there a limit to how long a novel can get while maintaining the quality of the story and the writing?~

I’m tempted to say no to this. It’s my gut response, and maybe I’m right. I’ve read some good, LONG books (East of Eden by John Steinbeck springs to mind, as well as the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, as well as a lot of epic fantasy I’ve read) and I’m not sure whether such stories could be told as well if the word count were chopped in half. But then again, maybe this is because I’ve never been presented with a more concise version of a long and much-loved work.  Well, like many an author (I’m guessing this is a common, vague sort of dream a lot of us have : P) I’ve always wanted to write a whopper of my own; maybe I’ll find out ; ). )

~ C

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just for fun: the shortest book I own (40 pages) atop the longest (1,066 pages).

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3/16/13- 3/18/13 {Newport, RI}

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~And after the fire, there came a whisper~

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the greatest of news!

I don’t think I’ve ever actually posted about this on this blog, but for the past few months I’ve been working on fine-tuning a book of mine I wrote a while back. The book, A Dewdrop Away, is now available both IN PRINT and in a Kindle edition (the Kindle edition is only $4.99!)

At first I started out with Lulu.com, which I’d heard good things about from people who liked to do all the work themselves and pay minimally to get their stuff out there. But a little ways into Lulu, I had to face the fact that if I wasn’t going to purchase a pricy package (say that five times fast xD) I was not going anywhere fast. I really didn’t have enough skills and the information I needed was so spread out over the site (I had to go digging around in the forums for a lot of it) that every time I went on, I had a headache from trying to figure out what steps to take.
Now, for people who know enough about designing/formatting books, Lulu might work wonders; I don’t know. I DO know the pricing and shipping per book seemed EXTREME.

It was Jen Carter, the author of Chasing Paris (Link: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Paris-Jen-Carter/dp/1478258535/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364844258&sr=8-1&keywords=chasing+paris) who sold me on the idea of being published on Amazon, through Amazon. I’d dismissed the possibility previously because I’d read this one book on self-publishing (and I forget the name of it now) which basically categorized a bunch of self-publishing programs from “Excellent” to “Avoid at all Costs”. I believe Createspace, which I ultimately used to publish my paperback, was listed under “Avoid at all Costs”.

This just goes to show that different things work for different people. I guess it all depends on what you want out of publication. I can’t even remember WHY Createspace was supposed to be a poor option according to this book, because it has worked so smoothly for me. I was in heaven with the way it walked me through every single step of the process, and with how EASY it was to make changes to the book once it was published. The same is true of Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace’s electronic bro, which I used for my Kindle version. It was hearing Jen’s experiences (and considerable success!) with these Amazon-owned companies that made me want to give it a try. I told myself that if I didn’t like publishing this way, I could always go back to searching for another self-publisher; now I honestly can’t imagine using anything else. It was just so simple, and FREE.

Again, maybe it’s what you want out of publishing that makes all the difference. I didn’t want a SUPAR PROFESSIONAL book or a big-ass promotional package; I only wanted my words to be out there, available to a wide audience if they so chose to give it a chance. And I got that, and so easily. I’m thoroughly satisfied with the experience (and my book looks damn good, too!)

So, without further ado, here is a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Dewdrop-Away-C-Allen/dp/0988985616/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364844666&sr=1-1&keywords=a+dewdrop+away

If you should decide to give it a chance, I’d be eternally grateful! HERE is the summary from the back of the book:

“Rupert has lived his entire life under the cruel reign of the black squirrels. When he finds out that the artifact that causes the immortality of his enemies is missing, he is sent on a quest to find it and claim it for his own. Rupert is determined to overthrow the evil Emperor Venul and rule justly in his stead, but he is warned by the wise white squirrel Zirreo to be cautious, for countless things can go wrong when holding an object of magic. Years later, the Dark Wanderer, a shadowy figure claiming to be the servant of the squirrel goddess Astrippa, is loose in Arborand. When friends Mae and Flor accidentally cross paths with him, they get more than they bargained for when they discover that the darkest, wildest legends are often true. Meanwhile, Theo, an orphaned half-breed squirrel, finds a compass that doesn’t point north and is compelled by a series of disturbing messages to set out with his faithful chipmunk servant Parris to follow where it leads. What if inequality threatened to take over the land? What if the gods who ruled your childhood fears came to life? Would you bow down, or would you fight? What if fate gifted you with only one journey on which to find out?”

HERE is my beauteous proof:
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and again:
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YEAH. The cover art is by Emily C. Holt–go visit her artist page!: http://www.e-c-h.deviantart.com. All of her stuff is mind-blowing. I swear, if I had designed my own cover, I would not be staring so lovingly at this thing all day.

The end. Lengthy post is lengthy. I’ve missed this blog : )

~ C

ETA: sidenote: I’ve decided I want to move my poetry on over to my actual POETRY BLOG, so if you’re following for that, or if you just want some poetry in your life, go to http://caallenpoetry.com. Right now it looks a MESS, but I’ll be cleaning it up and adding new material shortly.

Happy reading/writing!

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