How to calculate your word count goals for romance writers with Mel A Rowe

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In response to the many amazing romance authors who contacted me over the previous post, Why should word counts matter, what follows is how to calculate your own word count goals for romance writers.

Why bother with a daily word count?

Writing a book is a long process, so cutting it down into bite-sized goals makes this process achievable.

Having a daily word count goal can help you create a writing habit.

It can also help you beat the overwhelm of having too many words to write, which causes some of us to binge something on Netflix instead of writing. It’s also known as procrastination that many writers are famous for. Me included.

But knowing you only have a set number of words to accomplish in a day will help motivate you to write.

Setting your word count goal for a romance author

According to Harlequin, the average word count for a category romance novel is between 50,000 and 75,000 words.

For this experiment, we’ll aim for 65,000 words in our romance manuscript as the primary goal.

You choose how big a story you want to write first, then we break it down into how many days you want to write, using the formulas below.

Calculating your annual word count:

If you want to write one book in a year, for a 65,000-word novel we’d divided it by the 365 days of the year. If we round it out, it’ll give you a daily word count of 182 words to write per day.

The formula is: 65000 words / 365 days = 182 words

Calculating your word count per week:

For a 65,000-word novel, divide this amount by the 52 weeks of the year, which would mean you’d need to write 1,250 words per week.

The formula is: 65,000 / 52 = 1250 words

Calculating your word count per day:

If you wanted to write Monday through to Friday, you could take your weekly word count (from above) for a 65,000 word manuscript and divide it into the days you can write.

Five-day writing formula: 1250 / 5 = 250 words per day.

Four-day writing formula: 1250 / 4 = 312 words per day.

Three-day writing week: 1250 / 3 = 417 words per day.

Two-day writing formula: 1250 / 2 = 625 words per day.

The above is just a guide. Ultimately, it’s you who sets your word count goals to write what you can, when you can, to suit your lifestyle. Don’t overwhelm yourself by setting a huge goal to never bother again. If you start small and create a regular writing habit, you’ll soon beat your daily writing goals in no time.

Hope this helps.


Australian Bestselling Author, Mel A ROWE, lives and writes from the Northern Territory Outback, where she enjoys random road trips, while annoying her family with her bad singing, and making new friends in the middle of nowhere — except for water buffalos. She’s been chased by a few.  

You can find Mel & her stories at MELAROWE.COM

**This post is an abridged version from the original article: “Word Count: The why & how to meet your daily word count” printed with permission by the author, for THEAUTHORPLATFORM.COM **

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