NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Low Word Count
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Low Word Count

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
Will703 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020
Location: Henderson, NV
Status: Offline
Points: 947
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Will703 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Low Word Count
    Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:11am
I know there is no minimum word count, but I typically try to get as close to 1,000 (or whatever the maximum is) as possible. My friend entered with me this time, and she submitted her story in the 880s. It's a full story, and I like the ending, but she was up against the clock and got it in with 2 minutes to spare. Do you think the judges look down on leaving so much opportunity on the table?
Back to Top
ChristiLB View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2019
Location: NY
Status: Offline
Points: 2006
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChristiLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:16am
Originally posted by Will703 Will703 wrote:

I know there is no minimum word count, but I typically try to get as close to 1,000 (or whatever the maximum is) as possible. My friend entered with me this time, and she submitted her story in the 880s. It's a full story, and I like the ending, but she was up against the clock and got it in with 2 minutes to spare. Do you think the judges look down on leaving so much opportunity on the table?

My story came in at 867 words. I don't think they look down upon it or take points off for it but you will almost certainly get a suggestion of where you could have filled in more info with your remaining word count. I've gotten that a few times - "I would have liked to have read more about so and so and you had the words for it..." lol. I think she'll be fine.
Back to Top
kristina_f View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Location: BC, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1371
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kristina_f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:21am
Doubt it matters for placing. As the MF100 and 250 prove, compelling and complete stories can be written in far fewer words. 

I think what the judges comment on and what they use to score often don't align. There ends up being a lot of judge's comments about wanting 'more'. In some cases, I think that's particular to the author not being able to find the right balance or getting stuck on a concept too big for the word count. In some cases, I think the judges are just off the mark. And in some cases I think the judges are just looking for something to say to fill out the comments when they don't have much else useful to offer.
Back to Top
toeditishuman View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular
Avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Location: Lancashire, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 368
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toeditishuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:27am
Edit: sorry, wrong thread!

Edited by toeditishuman - 13 Sep 2021 at 12:27am
FF CH2 The Purple Clover (Suspense)
Back to Top
NERdling View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Location: Chicago
Status: Offline
Points: 904
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NERdling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:34am
Originally posted by Will703 Will703 wrote:

I know there is no minimum word count, but I typically try to get as close to 1,000 (or whatever the maximum is) as possible. My friend entered with me this time, and she submitted her story in the 880s. It's a full story, and I like the ending, but she was up against the clock and got it in with 2 minutes to spare. Do you think the judges look down on leaving so much opportunity on the table?

I had around 775 in round 2 last year. It was a complete story, but it was more middle-draft-not-final-draft quality. I took 8th in my group. I didn't get any negative feedback based on the length or on there being incomplete thoughts. 

If it's a complete and polished draft, she will have an equal shot to score as if it were a 1000 word story. 
Back to Top
dcontarato View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 08 Oct 2019
Status: Offline
Points: 1285
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dcontarato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 2:01am
I submitted at around 880 words this time. First draft was a bit over 900, and it felt complete to me.

For once, it was liberating to not have to worry about trimming to fit within the word count limit; virtually every round a lot of editing time goes into cutting down from, say, 1200 words to just within 1000, and at least for me, more than once the chopping has left its mark on the quality of the final product. Things get particularly messy with screenplays where the constraints of the format play tricks on you, and one line can make a difference between a scene fitting within 5 pages or spilling over substantially on the next page.

Yes--if the judges feel that something isn't fully developed, they'll have the "you had words" argument. But they ask for more all the time even for stories that clock in at 999 words, so I doubt they really look at the number of words LOL 
Back to Top
Log_Lady View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Status: Offline
Points: 875
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Log_Lady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 11:15am
I think your friend will be fine, Will. My round 1 story was only 752 words and placed second so hopefully that will give her some peace of mind. Good luck to both of you!

Edited by Log_Lady - 13 Sep 2021 at 11:18am
Back to Top
marcwest View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Newbie
NYC Midnight Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 14 May 2021
Location: Colorado
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marcwest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 11:28am
I finished at 986. I had to change my original plan, because I knew it would be over 1000. So I eliminated some elements. I'm still confident with my story. I hope the judges agree.
Back to Top
FerretKittyMom View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 19 May 2021
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 217
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FerretKittyMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 12:37pm
I was at 800. So I went back and reread it and tried to imagine i didn't know what was in ny head. Then I added a few more details to try and clarify/ expand a few things. I ended up at 999. It was strange being able to add instead of trying to figure out what to cut lol
FF CH2 GR25
TechnicalDetail
Back to Top
Maximum Dynamite View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict


Joined: 18 Jan 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 576
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maximum Dynamite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2021 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by ChristiLB ChristiLB wrote:

My story came in at 867 words. I don't think they look down upon it or take points off for it but you will almost certainly get a suggestion of where you could have filled in more info with your remaining word count. I've gotten that a few times - "I would have liked to have read more about so and so and you had the words for it..." lol. I think she'll be fine.

Heck, I get that suggestion even when I turn it in with every single word of my 1k already used. "I think you could have taken some more time to fully explain what happened in the first 16 years of Graham's life..." Oh, really? Do you think that? In my thriller, in which Graham is only a peripheral character? Thanks for the tip! I'll be sure to not write anything on the actual prompt next time...
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.124 seconds.