Sunday, November 01, 2009

OhNoNaNoWriMoHoHoUhOhEtc

Questions I have so far:

How many words makes up an average chapter? Serious question. My chapters seem to be done at about 500 words and I have a feeling that's a leeeetle bit too few. Hehe.

What tab setting do you have on your Word doc for new paragraphs and speech? Mine seems to have set a crazy default that I can't get rid of so I'm stuck doing spacebar spacing which is tedious.

Why November?

3 comments:

Sophie Playle said...

What version of Word are you using? There is usually somewhere where you can adjust settings such as how far your tab indents.

If you can see a ruler thing at the top of your document, I think you can adjust it that way - by dragging one of the points.

And I reckon chapters can be as long as you want them to be. Plus, you can always sort that kind of stuff out in a later draft.

Bob Jacobs said...

500 words is too short for a chapter. Common problem, and if I had to guess - just a shot in the dark - I'd start by guessing that you write short stories - and even flash fiction - where 500 words seems like a lot. But, don't worry, help is at hand and it's easy to rectify. Bob's Hot Tips (BHT):

[1] Start by adding adverbs and adjectives. In addition to increasing the word count, they spice up the text. Don't overdo it, but with a little effort you can probobly squeeze in a couple per sentence without any fuss.

[2] Look for opportunities to add speach tags where there are none, and where you've just used 'said' qualify it with an appropriate adverb or phrase (he said whisperingly, she said at the top of her twee girlish voice).

[3] Start each chapter with backstory. Fill in the blanks in the reader's mind with rich tales from the characters' passed.

[4] Get out yer theosaurus and look for words that mean the same thing but use more letters. I know, the word count stays the same, but it does take up more space on the page and can therefour lengthen each and every chapter.

[5] Provide plenty of description. Most of a story takes place indoors. What does each room look like? What kind of wallpaper? What color curtains? Is there a cobweb in the corner? Outdoors, can you see cows in a field? What does the sky look like? Is it raining?

That'll do for starters. If you're still struggling, send me a sample chaper and I bet I can double the length. Easy.

Cheers,
Bob

Sara Crowley said...

Hey Sophie, thanks for replying. I have word on mac, can't remember what version, it's not just word that's playing up tho' so I suspect it's my pc. I do have a ruler thing but I drag it and it pings right back. Grr.

Bob - thank you so much for your thoughts. It really is tough to expand everything, I'm so used to making it tight for flash and shorts that it feels a bit waffly to go on. (And I get bored. Oh dear.)

I don't want to add stuff in just for the sake of it, but at the same time it needs to grow and become a looser text I think.

7,000 word novel anyone?

; )

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