Average WOTF story word count?

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Mr H
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Mr H » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:06 pm

Does anyone know the average word count, or even better a list of word counts, for winning stories? Longest/shortest, that sort of info? I can't find it anywhere. Also any word from the judges on the same info re entries??
Lots of R
36 Q1 R
36 Q2 R
36 Q3 R
36 Q4 R
37 Q1 HM (happy dance may have occurred)
37 Q2 R
37 Q3 R
37 Q4 R
38 Q1 ? (Hmm... Let me guess.)

Reuben
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Location: New York

Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Reuben » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:19 pm

Check out Wulf's Super Secret # 31 where he talks about this. If you ever want any information about winning the contest, it's a good bet that Wulf's super secrets probably talk about it.

Regarding minimum word length, see this thread

It's my personal opinion from looking at non-winning finalists that while Dave doesn't consider length for his own judgements, stories that are under 4k are a hard sell for the final win. I may be horribly wrong, though.
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill
V. 37: R, R, R, HM
V. 38: ?,

TimE
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Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby TimE » Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:49 am

I try not to write an average story.
Some HMs More Rs - I keep thinking I'm getting closer, but perhaps not.
CWA-Debut Dagger shortlist. https://thecwa.co.uk/colours/ (Still trying to find my genre - but perhaps it's scifi - and perhaps it's not)

Mr H
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Mr H » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:46 pm

Who said anything about writing an average story?

Thanks for the links.
Lots of R
36 Q1 R
36 Q2 R
36 Q3 R
36 Q4 R
37 Q1 HM (happy dance may have occurred)
37 Q2 R
37 Q3 R
37 Q4 R
38 Q1 ? (Hmm... Let me guess.)

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:30 am

I think, generally speaking, the consensus is that stories in the realm if 3k to 7k words tend to do well, kind of like in other markets. Stuff outside that estimate is a harder sell, but it can/has happened. (My stories that made F or SF were all in the 3k to 7k range, but I've gotten SHMs on longer ones.)
If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells

R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, ?

https://ticknortales.com/

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Dustin Adams » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:40 am

I think we should listen to Gandalf. A story is precisely as long as it needs to be. ;)

That said, I try my hardest not to go over 10k. I think the odds go down under 3k and over 10k.
And I like to play the odds.
2x Finalist
2x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

Dom
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:08 pm

Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Dom » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:25 am

Dustin Adams wrote:I think we should listen to Gandalf. A story is precisely as long as it needs to be. ;)

That said, I try my hardest not to go over 10k. I think the odds go down under 3k and over 10k.
And I like to play the odds.


I like your answer, Dustin! Especially since my entry for Q1 was 15K, even after editing and cutting. Really, I felt like I cut down a novel length story to get it under the limit, but it's still probably too long.

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vjalrik
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Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby vjalrik » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:28 pm

My last sub was 10k+, which made me dig into this question a bit more. I looked at V29, V33, V35, V36 (these were the ones I was able to get for $0.99...) and assumed 280 words per Kindle page (48 winners plus 3 pub'd finalists):

< 3000: 3 stories (6%)
3000-5499: 22 stories (43%)
5500-7999: 20 stories (39%)
8000+: 6 stories (12%)

So yeah, what everyone else said. More than 80% were in 3k-8k, but there are plenty of exceptions both ways.
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R R R),
V36 (R HM F HM), V37 (SF HM HM HM)
Latest sold story (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 2018

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Average WOTF story word count?

Postby Dustin Adams » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:56 pm

Excellent data crunching!

Thanks Van
2x Finalist
2x Semi
4x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1


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