Monday, May 10, 2010

Word Count!

Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
I think it is so cute as newcomers come into the writing world. They throw caution to the wind, toss guidelines and rules out the window and just plain well do what they want to do.

Here is a gentle reminder to the discussion of WORD COUNT! It is essential in the writing world that we remember to show the word count. No publisher will even glance at your work if you forget to place the word count on the top of the page.

Imagine a publisher asking for 2000 words. He opens his/her email to find there is no word count. Do you know what happens to your submission? It gets TOSSED IN THE TRASH! All that hard work! All the anticipation, all the excitedness tossed in the bin. Why? Because NO WORD COUNT?

You might not think it is important but to a time honored profession, it is! I only push for it in all of my rooms for one reason, if you don't do it in your writing forums/classes/courses then you'll get lazy and not remember to place the word count in when the REAL submission time comes!!!

Also is is essential that you ADHERE to the guidelines. If the publisher, writing group, whatever, asks for a 500 word essay. It is downright rude, clumsy and unprofessional of you to write 1600 words. Sorry, I will not read it at all no matter how good of a writer you are. Not meaning to hurt your feelings in any way, but you didn’t follow the rules.

So please, (I see that some have mistakenly forgotten the word count, then remembered,)  that is fine in a writing course, unacceptable to an editor.  To be honest, before I even attempt to read 5000, 2000, 500 words, I need to see just how many words there are before I dive in! So remember the word count!

Someone said to me, “At least they’re writing, right?” Wrong! I am so happy to see writers writing but to be purposefully disrespectful to a guideline is wrong. Just plain wrong. If you’re taking a class on learning ‘How’ to write, and it takes you seven hundred words to write a paragraph, then look it over, revise it, shine it up and offer something of beauty to your peers. A 500 word guideline is set so you CAN write it right.

Be on your toes! Remember to always respect the guidelines, always double check before submitting and clicking that send button! This will get you in the habit and when submission time comes, you'll actually get your work read!


June said...

Great advice for ALL writers, Joni.

I have to put on my editor/publisher's hat here: If you chose not to follow guidelines, what makes you think a publisher or editor would ever want to work with you?

Keep giving awesome advice to fellow writers, Joni!

joni said...

Exactly! I hear way too many times, but I was writing isn't that good enough?
Well I'm thinking if you will be that lax in following guidelines, what publisher/editor will want to work with you?