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Average WOTF story word count?

 
MrH
 MrH
(@mrh)
Member
Posts: 98

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??

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Topic starter Posted : January 11, 2021 7:06 am
Reuben
(@reuben)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 216

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
V37: R, R, R, HM
V38: SHM

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Posted : January 11, 2021 11:19 am
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 338

I try not to write an average story.

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Posted : January 11, 2021 10:49 pm
MrH
 MrH
(@mrh)
Member
Posts: 98

Who said anything about writing an average story?

Thanks for the links.

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Topic starter Posted : January 12, 2021 6:46 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1115

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, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : January 13, 2021 1:30 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 997

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
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Posted : January 14, 2021 12:40 am
dommichaels
(@dommichaels)
Advanced Member
Posts: 28

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.

V37 Q3 - HM, V37 Q4 - HM, V38 Q1 - HM, V38 Q2 - HM

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Posted : January 14, 2021 5:25 am
vjalrik
(@vjalrik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

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), V38 (HM HM, Q3-Pending)
Latest sold story (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018

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Posted : January 14, 2021 6:28 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 997

Excellent data crunching!

Thanks Van

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Posted : January 14, 2021 10:56 am
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