Word count of stories

I was wondering why the amount of chapters is shown, instead of the amount of words. A 200 chapter story can still be shorter than a 30 chapter story so it gives a distorted picture if you’re looking for something short, average or long.

I’ve been wondering the same thing!

It would be nice to show both. My book’s about 60 chapters long but only 20,000 words, so if people saw that they’d know these were short chapters and could make a decision whether to read it based on that. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

2 Likes

This is the thing that pisses me off most about Wattpad’s story formatting. It makes no sense that word count is not a category. Chapter count means nothing. Because these aren’t books in a store, there’s no physical way for me to assess their length. It feels like such a crapshoot—am I about to embark on a 30,000-word story or a 100,000-word story? Absurd.

For my own stories, I include a word count in the description as a courtesy. For my short story collection, I have an index with a word count for each of the stories.

10 Likes

If a story isn’t in the “short story,” category I assume it’s a full length novel. Here are the guidelines (compliments to google) that help me determine the length of the story I’m about to read:

The average wordcount for adult fiction is between 70,000 to 120,000 words.

For children’s fiction, the general rule is the younger the audience the shorter the book.

For YA novels the average is 50,000-70,000 words.

Nonfiction wordcounts sit between 70,000-120,000 words. Wordcounts also vary by genre, within this category.

As a general rule of thumb, a short story is anything up to about 7,500 - 10,000 words. The books with higher word counts are typically called novelettes, and novellas.

Something I wish that Wattpad would give me is an approximate page count.

I can tell that a good sized novel is five hundred pages, or that a average chapter is something ten pages, but 20,000 words means nothing to me.

1 Like

But you’re relying on the author to:

A) Mark it correctly (how? Blurb? Tags? Author notes?)
B) Respect/know common publishing rules.

Since Wattpad doesn’t give us a standard, it’s chaos.

I’m all for chapter length being visible.

Once I landed on a book that had only one paragraph in every chapter. Talk about not meeting expectations when you see 100 chapters.

1 Like

I too would like word and chapter count to be both visible
Let people know what they are getting into

1 Like

Once you get into the story parts, if you’re on the app it’ll show how many pages are left at the very bottom. The pages are based on the screen size.

If you’re reading on web and hover over the scroll bar at the top of the page, it’ll give you an approximate amount of time left in the story part.

I haven’t been active on the writing side of things in a while, but I remember Wattpad’s processor/uploader had a tendency to buff the word count, which could be a factor. I could copy-paste a 2000 word chapter from Word MS and it would add an extra 30-50 ‘words’ to the count after it was saved. (They may have fixed this in the two years I’ve been AWOL from the site though, I don’t know).

I think you’re giving too much credit to people. Yes, logically speaking, novel, novella, and short story are terms that should give you an idea of how long something is, but I know that on Wattpad that isn’t always the case. I’ve seen chapters that are less than a hundred words, for example.

I’ve found tiny chapters like that before too, and I find them frustrating. It’s generally not done for emphasis or dramatic effect either. Usually I find it’s done because someone wanted to post something quickly so they threw down a handful of poorly chosen words and hit publish

1 Like

That’s only if you have “pages” enabled.
When you use “scroll,” there is a progress bar on the bottom.
For both options, you need to start reading to see that.

You should be able to see what you’re getting into when you land on the blurb. This is poor design on Wattpad’s side. For a reading site, it’s not optimized for readers.

1 Like

I think the worst one I landed on was one of those Wattpad how-to. It was clearly just clickbait so I backed right out of there.

1 Like

Huh, I have an index for my short stories too, but I never thought of adding the word counts there. I might steal that idea. :joy:

It still does this, but it’s closer to ten extra words now.

1 Like

Ugh, that’s the worst. I hate it in particular when it’s something with tons of reads. Somehow it just irks me even more that I’ve been duped into reading something terrible, but also seeing that it has way more reads than other better works.

1 Like

There’s was a trend where cellphone novels were all the rage a few a years back after one got featured. Tonnes of stories with lots of tiny chapters appeared everywhere.

1 Like

Hahahahah!!! Legit what I thought when I saw this:

In my own personal experience and opinion, generally speaking, I don’t get hooked on books that don’t have what I consider to be good writing… I don’t know how else to state that in a less offensive way. I mean, it’s totally subjective! So I don’t mean to inadvertently offend anyone. It’s just that the books I’ve really gotten pulled into on here are by individuals who take the craft seriously? and know the… traditional guidelines?

So I read the blurb, sometimes the first chapter, and usually can tell if what I’m looking at interests me and if it was written with some sort of traditional standards in mind or not.

Once again… total personal opinion… the word count wouldn’t help me much. I’m not opposed to it being a way of categorizing if it helps others though.

shrugs

3 Likes