Average word counts

In my last post I discussed how I got to scene counts by POV. The natural extension of that is word count per POV*.

Here they are:

  • Vidar: 42,878 (28 scenes) … avg: 1,531
  • Odin: 44,656 (23 scenes) … avg: 1,942
  • Frigg: 43,754 (23 scenes) … avg: 1,902
  • Hodir: 19,511 (15 scenes) … avg: 1,301
  • Hyrrokin: 15,774 (17 scenes) … avg: 928
  • Loki: 12,014 (10 scenes) … avg: 1,201
  • Vaft: 6,795 (7 scenes) … avg: 971

I’m actually a little surprised/pleased that the word count is so (roughly) even among Vidar, Odin and Frigg since I wasn’t focused on that while writing or editing.

However, I did try to keep each scene at ~1500 words. But, as the averages above show, some POVs have scenes that run longer than others. Some of that is intentional — Hyrrokin is kinda “action adventure” and I cut to her to keep the pacing up. Vaft’s scenes are mostly short b/c I don’t need to be in his POV very long.

However, these low averages may be too low. I won’t be able to tell, probably, until:

  • I get my editor’s comments back
  • I let the book rest & then read it thru (like a reader would, not focusing on revision)
  • Both of the above.

BTW, I focused on 1,500 words per scene b/c that takes 10-15 minutes to read aloud. Yes, I’m thinking ahead to audiobooks.

More importantly, I want the book’s overall pacing to be quick. Shorter scenes help. It’s not all one note, of course, as I drop longer scenes in, just as you might use longer sentences (kinda like this one) to slow things down. Burying the “sequel” (or making it short), can also help vary the pacing.

I doubt I’m firing on all cylinders here, but that’s why the book’s going to an editor =D



* Scrivener’s bottom bar “always provides a live word and character count of the current section.” When I selected all of the individual documents in my POV Collections view (described in my prior post), that live word count showed the total word count for the entire POV. Score!


Fantasy author writing a series inspired by Norse myth.