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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Courier 12 is My Favorite Because it’s All About the Numbers By Scott M. Sandridge (Guest Post)

Regardless of the font and type this post ends up as, at the moment of writing this I’m doing it in New Courier 12. This time around I’m doing it single-line spaced. But if I were writing a short story, I’d be doing it double-line spaced. Why do I do all my writing this way? Because it helps me figure out word count more easily. You see, in NC 12 one page is roughly 250 words when double-line spaced, 500 single-line (for you New Roman fans it’ll be approximately 300/600). As a writer, being able to quickly know the word count at a glance is important, especially when trying to find the right market to sub to. It does little good to send a 15k word story to a magazine or anthology asking for 5k word stories because, unless you’re Stephen King, your odds of acceptance has instantly dropped by a very large margin. 

As an editor it’s also important, especially if you’re editing a print periodical or print anthology with limited space. You have to know if the stories will “fit.” When it comes to online magazines and ebooks, while technically the “space” is virtually unlimited, reading on any type of electronic screen can be a chore for most; therefore, in the online world less is more; 3000-5000 for short stories, for novels around 50k-75k, 100k+ only if it’s really good.


I’m now halfway at the page, and my thoughts are “Will I make it to 500 words (the ideal length of the average blog post)? Might I end up going over? What should I write next?” I tend to start thinking that way once I reach the halfway mark of anything. My brain constantly runs the numbers, constantly keeps track. It’s not always perfect but good enough for an adequate guesstimate. Keeping to that word count is important to me when I’m writing for a specific market, whether it’s a zine or an antho. I take pride in crafting a good story or article within the word count limit of the market I’m targeting. Only when I’m writing a story without concern for where I’ll land it do I not worry about word count so much. In those moments, I’ll worry about finding the potential markets the story can “fit” in later. 

Obviously there’s a lot more to crafting a story and finding a home for it than just the word count. The genre/subgenre and many other factors also come into play. But where an editor might let a slight shift in those areas slide, the one thing most editors can’t let slide is the word count, at least not by too wide a margin. 

I’m now past the first page. Knowing New Courier 12 as I do, I know this article is now approximately at 520 words, including spacings. Not too less, not too more. But just right. Mostly.

End (at 550)


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About the Editpr

Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

Visit his site at: http://smsand.wordpress.com

Twitter: @scottmsandridge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smsandwrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5772749-scott-sandridge

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About the Book

A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court edited by Scott M. Sandridge
Seventh Star Press; 1 edition (February 6, 2014)

The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "good" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian.

But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.


Seventh Star Press; 1 edition (February 6, 2014)

The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "evil" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new, including Michael Shimek, Deedee Davies, and Nick Bryan.

But don't be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.

1 comment:

  1. Oddly enough, I was setting up paragraphs and fonts to make my current story fit on a page so I'd know how long the next one should be. Nice post.

    ReplyDelete