Old 09-17-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
beachbaby179
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Question Story/Page length

Quick question from a new editor: what's the rule of thumb on the length of a story? How many words can fit on a typical page on the site? I have an 80-page MS Word story that's broken up clumsily into five chapters, two of them VERY long. I'm trying to re-chunk it for the author but I'm not sure how many words are on a typical page so it's hard to judge. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
LadyVer
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One Lit page has about 3,767 words +\- about 400 words, so I've heard.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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thanks! that helps.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyVer View Post
One Lit page has about 3,767 words +\- about 400 words, so I've heard.
That varies depending on how many paragraph breaks, dialogue and other printy things.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
That varies depending on how many paragraph breaks, dialogue and other printy things.
Yeah, and margins. I know there's a thread somewhere that discusses this. Someone mentioned margins, that if you set your Word doc with a 1.25" margin, it helps get the Word doc closer to the Lit word count?
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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I went and copied the first page of a story to see how many words were in it. It was a two page story and the first page was 3767 words. Right on LadyVer, LOL That was good to know. I often wondered about that. I write my stories in 14 pt print, easier for an old guy to read. I was never quite sure how many pages I ended up with on Lit since they change the print size.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Weird Harold did the checking on word count, if I remember right. He posted his findings many times but I'm too lazy to hunt for them today. Based on his data, I figure 3500 words a page, and that's close enough for anything I submit here.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
That varies depending on how many paragraph breaks, dialogue and other printy things.
Actually this isn't true. A lit page can vary in size greatly.

What I mean by this is let's say you typed a line of text that filled the lit published page completely.

I used this line exactly as you see it below, repeating it over and over, with no paragraph breaks, making sure it contained more than one lit page.

的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah
的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah
的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah

over and over and over . . . .

Lit stopped at 385 lines and then started page 2. This put 4620 words on the page, but that's kind of irrelevant because obviously, words come in many sizes.

Now, based on what Elfin says, adding line breaks between each line of text should cut the number of words in half due to the blank lines separating each line of text.

So doing this,

的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah

的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah

的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah

Should cut down the number of words on the page, and it does, but only by 168 words. The lit page now has 741 lines, including the the space between each line of text. This means the actual lit page is pretty close to twice as long as the first example.

Now lets use an even simpler line of text like what I have below.

I do.
I do.
I do.

You can now fit 5716 words on a single Lit page, and it takes up 2580 lines. The scroll bar is tiny, and the page seems to go on forever.

Now add blank lines between each line of text, and you get 4446 words on a page, and you end up with 4445 lines, and now the page scroll is obnoxiously long.

So, big blocks of text will actually shorten the page, and lots of dialog with tons of white space will actually extend the length of the page.

This is based on the preview page in the Lit submission section, and its always been accurate in the past, so I'll trust it now.

I still use 3700 words as my rough estimate like most do, and its been close enough.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyVer View Post
One Lit page has about 3,767 words +\- about 400 words, so I've heard.
Think you're about right.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:03 PM   #10
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Thank you much for asking this question!

I am currently working on a story and I have yet to submit anything to Literotica so I had been wondering about the length of my story. I have not yet finished it; so I haven't yet looked for an editor to go over it, but as soon as I am done I will be on the hunt. Again thank you so much for asking the question and thank you to all those who answered.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchalot View Post
What I mean by this is let's say you typed a line of text that filled the lit published page completely.

I used this line exactly as you see it below, repeating it over and over, with no paragraph breaks, making sure it contained more than one lit page.

的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah
的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah
的 wish I was a rich man, blah blah blah blah blah

over and over and over . . . .

Lit stopped at 385 lines and then started page 2. This put 4620 words on the page, but that's kind of irrelevant because obviously, words come in many sizes.
What is really irrelevant with this is that Lit. wouldn't publish anything without paragraph breaks (and has rejected stories where the paragraphs are humongously long too).

What's relevant is that about 3,750 words per Lit. page is the mean for reality, with, yes, variance, because words don't come in a standard length.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
What is really irrelevant with this is that Lit. wouldn't publish anything without paragraph breaks (and has rejected stories where the paragraphs are humongously long too).

What's relevant is that about 3,750 words per Lit. page is the mean for reality, with, yes, variance, because words don't come in a standard length.
The advice above about paragraph breaks is important because we are writing to be read on a screen. A paragraph length that looks reasonable and might be acceptable in a printed book looks very dense on a screen.

I have written a very long paragraph for my story 'Breathless Stargazing' but that was in the Humor category. Normally I try to keep my paragraphs down to under eight lines.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #13
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Do you all really care how many words are in a story. I mean i can see the original question about chapter breaks, but even then, there should be natural breaks in any story. I have sen one page and 60 page chapters in the same story. I just write until the story is finished and all my characters are satiated or dead (LOL), then i stop.
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