So way back when I was in school, and then when I was at uni I was often given coursework that had a word count. I remember finding it really hard at times to meet this word count or to come within 10% of the count. Writing things where I had to make sure I didn’t literally copy from whatever I was using to research, trying to find extra things to add that would answer the question, sometimes when there just didn’t seem that much to add. Oh I’m sure there probably was things I could have added, I’m older and wiser now, but back then, well researching stuff was ‘hard’. (It’s that whole, don’t really want to do the work thing, you drag your feet, cant be bothered etc)
Now though I’ve started to do more writing, in an attempt to maybe one day write a book and get it published. And I find that when I sit down for a proper writing session then I write about 1500 words in a few hours. And there are times, especially if this has taken me quite a while and I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by internet things like Twitter, when I feel I could have written more and I’m oddly disappointed. Which is silly, because 1500 words is not to be sniffed at really. I also like to get quite detailed in my writing, and I’m beginning to notice that I do at times state the obvious, when I could just let the reader infer things (but that’s what editing is for). So I think for stories, I can write quite a lot.
This just means that when I see a writing contest to write something in a 1000 words or less well i’m just a little bit scared. Where once I’d find it hard to hit anywhere near that, now I’m well aware that I could write way to much. It’s quite tense, watching the word count, and wondering every time you’ve written a sentence whether all those words are necessary. I’d used half my word count just setting everything up! I had to wrap things up almost as soon as it got started. Still I’m 40 words under, and I have time to do a bit of editing. I may well post it, after the competition is done. 🙂
And I think I’ll sign off now… as I’m pretty sure this has been a rather boring blog post! I’m not sure what has driven me to do a whole post on word counts (I think I just feel the need to make sure I update this on occasion.) At least it isn’t that long!