Most writers track either word count or pages as they. They often say “I’ll write three pages a day”—these people I call pagers. Or a wordy will say— “I’ll hit two thousand words this week”.
I have always been a pager, the reason being that a 12 point New Times Roman font double spaced 300 page manuscript will be within about a dozen pages of a 300 page novel. Since I write 300 page novels, I know exactly how long to make my manuscript. Now, it’s not an exact science. If your publisher chooses a smaller type for the book, or if you have blank pages in between chapters, obviously, that’s going to be different. But typically it’s a pretty good gauge of things. However, this pager has hit a snag and been thrown into the dismal abyss of having to…gulp…change!.
I got a Mac laptop a few months ago and I love it, but despite my specific instructions to the salesman that I did not want a machine with quirks, he sold it to me anyway. The quirk that is currently making my eye twitch is that it’s stopped recording pages when I’m in “Normal” view. I can go to “Page Layout” or “Print layout” and it shows me how many pages I have, but I prefer to type in “normal” view and I’m stuck at 55 pages despite the 3,000 words I wrote last week.
So I am forced against my will to be a wordy and ya know what…it’s kinda cool. Now 50 pages is a nice round number, but likely 10 of those pages aren’t full pages because I ended a chapter, hence it’s kinda cheating. With word count it is what it is and if my goal is, say 80,000 words then I know exactly how close I am to that goal. So yesterday I determined I was going to get to 20,000 words and as I’m typing I’m watching the word count grow. I liked that…and yet I still miss my pages. It might take some time to get used to all this.
So, I’m curious—what do other writers do? Are you a Wordy or a Pager?