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dkallas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dkallas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: word count
    Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 8:41am
In my word processing program hyphenated words count as one word. So "spine-chilling" is one word while "spine chilling" is two. I never considered, until tonight and too late, that the Submittable system might be different. I pasted my story into the little box. It "accepted" it. Then I typed about 10 more words and it never said, "Hey, too many!"

So now I am wondering if anyone knows the answer to the hyphenated words question or has any word count info in general.

Thanks!
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Draiglas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Draiglas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 8:55am
Originally posted by dkallas dkallas wrote:

In my word processing program hyphenated words count as one word. So "spine-chilling" is one word while "spine chilling" is two. I never considered, until tonight and too late, that the Submittable system might be different. I pasted my story into the little box. It "accepted" it. Then I typed about 10 more words and it never said, "Hey, too many!"

So now I am wondering if anyone knows the answer to the hyphenated words question or has any word count info in general.

Thanks!

I could be wrong but I think Submittable actually stops you submitting if you went over - someone mentioned yesterday that it told them they were 8 words over and I feel like in some previous round or contest, it stopped me once as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kristina_f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 5:11pm
Yeah, if you are over, it won't submit. There will be a message saying something like "there is a limit of 250 words; your submission is 254".

Yesterday I was using Scrivener and Google Docs. Of the two, Scrivener had the higher word count. Submittable showed the same word count as Google Docs. I am not certain if it uses the exact same set of rules, but probably pretty close. 

As for hyphenated words, I am not sure if any programs count them as two words. That said, proper format for em-dashes doesn't use spaces, and I am not sure if some programs count the words on either side as two or one.

Another interesting behaviour is that '2:30' counts as two words while 'two-thirty' counts as one. I know current conventions favour using numerals in place of words for easier reading, but consider using words instead.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Random Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 5:27pm
Originally posted by kristina_f kristina_f wrote:

Yeah, if you are over, it won't submit. There will be a message saying something like "there is a limit of 250 words; your submission is 254".

Yesterday I was using Scrivener and Google Docs. Of the two, Scrivener had the higher word count. Submittable showed the same word count as Google Docs. I am not certain if it uses the exact same set of rules, but probably pretty close. 

As for hyphenated words, I am not sure if any programs count them as two words. That said, proper format for em-dashes doesn't use spaces, and I am not sure if some programs count the words on either side as two or one.

Another interesting behaviour is that '2:30' counts as two words while 'two-thirty' counts as one. I know current conventions favour using numerals in place of words for easier reading, but consider using words instead.


Another interesting Word quirk is ellipsis connected words are also one word, but an elipsi by itself is also a word. (yes, I know singular is ellipsis and plural is ellipses)

So my character that struggled to keep a coherent train of thought...and constantly had to pause and think of the next thing she was going to say...burned through fewer words than the character who actually spoke English.

What, me?  Cheat?  Perish the...thought.  It's how Word does it, and in most events with a word limit Word is one of the gold standards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taaaylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 5:30pm
In a past microfic, I've done something similar to "click-click-click" for an onomatopoeia of lockpicking and Submittable counted it as one. Let me sneak in at least 6 extra words that way lol ;)

Good luck with finals! Hope to see your story when the forums open <3
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dkallas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dkallas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2021 at 7:15pm
Thank you all! I feel relieved. It's that time of contest when I freak out about things like "did I actually follow the genre" and "will I be punished for my lame title." At least this was a new freak out!
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