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WOT length vs other books... c and p from BS blog


Razor
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Half Way!

Posted on 08.22.08Categories: A Memory of Light

 

I crossed the 50% mark on A MEMORY OF LIGHT last night.  I still worry that this book will go longer than 400k, which means this wouldn't actually be halfway.  However, it's 200k words, which is a nice milestone.

 

I know that a lot of people don't know how to judge wordcounts.  When I use wordcounts to say how long a book is, readers will often say "So...how many pages is that?"  I'm never sure how to respond to this, because page counts can be rather variable.  Typesetters can work some real magic with font and layout to make a page count come out the way they want, which is why a lot of industry professionals end up using wordcount instead.  (Of course there are also a variety of ways of arriving at Wordcount, depending on how you count...)

 

Anyway, I figured that I would come up with a list of books by myself and Mr. Jordan, give their wordcounts, then periodically place where this book fits into the list by comparison.  Maybe that will help place where this book fits in so far.

 

AMOL Relative Length Chart: 8/22/08

 

Alcatraz/Evil Librarians 60,400

New Spring 121,815

---A MEMORY OF LIGHT 200k So Far!---

Elantris 202,765

The Final Empire 214,752

The Path of Daggers 226,687

Warbreaker 236,301

Winter's Heart 238,789

Hero of Ages 244,201

The Dragon Reborn 251,392

The Well of Ascension 252,739

The Great Hunt 267,078

Crossroads of Twilight 271,632

A Crown of Swords 295,028

The Eye of the World 305,902

Knife of Dreams 315,163

The Fires of Heaven 354,109

Lord of Chaos 389,264

The Shadow Rising 393,823

 

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What really surprised me was that KOD came so high on the list, it did not feel like one of the longer books. But I think that is very much because of RJ kicking up the pace quite a few notches, so after several books focusing on getting all the piece in position, everything started to move forward again, and at quite a speed.

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I always wondered how people got the word counts from books....

 

They manually counted the number of words on a page... then right it down at the bottom of the page.

 

Then, they use a calculator and add up all the figures, giving us the word count! YEAH!

 

 

 

LOL just joking around. The writers/editors just use the word processor that the book is written in to count...

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I'm aware how you find word count using a word processor.

 

Are you suggesting that people type up books like The Shadow Rising?

 

Or are these books available somewhere in digital format?

 

Yes they can be downloaded in pdf format.

 

However, that is illegal. I found out about the legality issues shortly after getting them and had to delete them and wait patiently for my local bookstore (on a remote island in an insignificant corner of the world) to obtain the books that I ordered, like, a month ago.

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Hmm... I always thought that Lord of Chaos was longer than the Shadow Rising. I guess the number of pages fooled me.

 

In regards to AMoL having to be split into two, I was thinking about various book lengths, and if it really is only 400k words, it should be fine, since TSR is almost 400k. Also, in terms of paperback books, I've noticed that even the longest don't seem to go much past 1000 pages; it seems to be some kind of threshold. However, I'm currently reading Stephen Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and I was at the bookstore and noticed that the paperback for The Bonehunters, book 6, is around 1250 pages (!). This is the most I've ever seen in a paperback, and is about 25% more pages than TSR. I don't know the word count for The Bonehunters because I can't seem to find it anywhere, but still, if the font and line spacing etc. was kept the same as TSR, that's (roughly) 250 more pages to work with, which is roughly another 100 thousand words. So, conceivably, even if AMoL turns out to be 500 thousand words, it can still be the same number of pages as a book which Tor is already publishing (The Bonehunters). Just throwing that out there.

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Guest Dreadlord

Does anyone else feel as if a story in just one book no longer seems like enough of a story, after reading Wheel of Time? I mean I look at some books now and laugh and the measley 300 pages in a stand alone book...I feel like I could read one that small in about 15 mins lol

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I've also seen books with page length in the 1000s, the one that comes to mind that's also a series is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  I think one book, forget which one, is about 1400 pages.  It's huge, the spacing and font are small too.

So I suppose it's possible Tor could publish the 12th book in one book. 

The fact I've seen books that hefty makes me hope that Tor won't split it up if it gets that large...

 

Oh, I also agree that after reading a WOT book, a book 300-350 pages feels like a snack. ;D

I can probably read a book that size in 2 days, maybe even a day! ::)

 

 

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How Brandon does the counting...

 

How do I get my wordcounts?  Well, early on, I was trained to do the old "250 words per page" method which has been the historic method of doing it.  To get this, you write in Courier New 12pt font with 1" margins (I think) and you generally end up getting about 250 words per page.  I actually still type in Courier because of this training.  Then, you can just estimate word count by how many pages you've written.  (And in this method, a "word" is being defined as around six characters, not an actual full word.)

 

The problem with this is that it's not really that accurate.  People's computers, for some reason, often paginate the same document in different ways.  Plus, I soon learned that not everyone does it this way.  (And not everyone likes to write/read in Courier.)  The longer I've been working in publishing, the more I've had editors and publishers just say "Use the Wordcount function on word processor."  So that's actually how I go about it.  Easy and simple, though it has its own problems (it counts actual words, not number of characters, so a person who uses a lot of big words can have a smaller wordcount than the size of the printed book would indicated.)  Still, I think it's consistent enough for my purposes.  (Note that I got the wordcounts for the Wheel of Time books on the list from Wikipedia.)

 

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Hmm... I always thought that Lord of Chaos was longer than the Shadow Rising. I guess the number of pages fooled me.

 

In regards to AMoL having to be split into two, I was thinking about various book lengths, and if it really is only 400k words, it should be fine, since TSR is almost 400k. Also, in terms of paperback books, I've noticed that even the longest don't seem to go much past 1000 pages; it seems to be some kind of threshold. However, I'm currently reading Stephen Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and I was at the bookstore and noticed that the paperback for The Bonehunters, book 6, is around 1250 pages (!). This is the most I've ever seen in a paperback, and is about 25% more pages than TSR. I don't know the word count for The Bonehunters because I can't seem to find it anywhere, but still, if the font and line spacing etc. was kept the same as TSR, that's (roughly) 250 more pages to work with, which is roughly another 100 thousand words. So, conceivably, even if AMoL turns out to be 500 thousand words, it can still be the same number of pages as a book which Tor is already publishing (The Bonehunters). Just throwing that out there.

 

But did Tor publish that? Their paperbacks have historically been pretty shoddy.  I definitely wouldn't trust a Tor paperback to last more than a couple of read throughs if it's more than a thousand pages. Also, splitting the books apart and publishing the 2nd a month later would be great for a site like this, DM would be in a frenzy.

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I'm aware how you find word count using a word processor.

 

Are you suggesting that people type up books like The Shadow Rising?

 

Or are these books available somewhere in digital format?

 

Yes they can be downloaded in pdf format.

 

However, that is illegal. I found out about the legality issues shortly after getting them and had to delete them and wait patiently for my local bookstore (on a remote island in an insignificant corner of the world) to obtain the books that I ordered, like, a month ago.

 

Actually, it's not illegal if you own the book already. I have all the WoT books in PDF format and sitting on my bookshelf, barely touched cause I like to keep them in like-new condition. I also have the WoT RP book too, in PDF format, because after lending it to a friend they never gave it back, and now they're two states away. Also having them in PDF format makes it extremely useful for looking up information if you know what keywords to type.

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I suppose if it had to be published in 2 volumes, I could deal with the wait if they released them back-to-back.

Like someone else said, releasing the 2nd the next month.

I don't think I could handle waiting longer than that! :D

 

Jagen,

You sound like me.

I've even laminated the covers so they last longer. ;D ::)

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How do you laminate a book? O_o Myself, I ended up rebuying the whole series so I could have all the books new. They were on sale so I couldn't resist. Actually they're not even in my bookshelf, they're in a drawer, so dust doesn't get on them.

 

I'd really love glass case just to display my WoT books. I've wanted one forever, just for that purpose, heehee.

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How do you laminate a book? O_o Myself, I ended up rebuying the whole series so I could have all the books new. They were on sale so I couldn't resist. Actually they're not even in my bookshelf, they're in a drawer, so dust doesn't get on them.

 

I'd really love glass case just to display my WoT books. I've wanted one forever, just for that purpose, heehee.

 

Grr, for some reason the link won't work.

I went to www.demco.com and clicked under book supplies and then laminate and book covers.

Then click on Duraseal® Polypropylene Laminate

That's what I used and it works very nicely.  :D

 

 

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So AMOL will be roughtly double the size of KoD....AWSOME!! I personly love long books and series. Lets just hope that wheather they split it or not (and remember Eye Of The World was split) that it's eventualy released as a single edition hardback with lots of gold leaf and foil embossing :D

 

 

 

 

[glow=green,1,500]Darth_Andrea[/glow]starwars1.gif    anim-ring.gif

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Just as a comparison, Tad William's "To Green Angel Tower" is reportedly around 520k words, and was split into two big books.  I was curious and looked that up the other day, since I was thinking about rereading that and remembered how big both books were.

Have the original hardback, that thing is a beast. (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn has the elements of a great story and some really nicely written pieces, too bad it plods on and on and on...)

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    least I hope so.

 

As do we all!!    But if they make 2 books I want them both released the same date.    I have had enough waiting on this one.    Besides a release of a month apart frequently turns into 6 months to a year apart.    :( :( :(

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