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Interviews: Brandon Sanderson's Blog: Answers to Questions

Summary:

Entries

2

Date

Aug 25th, 2008

Type

Verbatim

Links

brandonsanderson.com

  • 1

    Brandon Sanderson

    I got a lot of feedback to my previous post about hitting the halfway point. Thank you all for your good wishes and support. Some of you had questions, and rather respond directly, I thought I'd post answers here for everyone to see.

    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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  • 2

    Brandon Sanderson

    The other question that popped up several times is this one: Am I including the pages that Mr. Jordan wrote in that wordcount? The answer is yes and no. What I'm doing is writing through the book by viewpoint grouping. That means I start at the beginning, then write through to near the end with a certain set of characters. Then I begin again with a new set of characters. This helps me focus in on those characters so that I don't have to keep track of QUITE so many things at once.

    When I reach a section that Mr. Jordan finished, I insert it, then keep going. So the 200k that I've "written" so far includes chunks that I didn't write. However, the unfinished portions also include large chunks of Mr. Jordan's writing that AREN'T yet included in the 200k. I'll include them when I write those characters and get to the parts he has finished. Does that make sense?

    And now, since I finished another chapter on Saturday, we have an update to our list below!

    A Memory of Light Relative Length Chart: 8/25/08

    Alcatraz/Evil Librarians 60,400
    New Spring 121,815
    Elantris 202,765
    -A MEMORY OF LIGHT 204k So Far!-
    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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