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Confused about OWW

June 9, 2009

I just sent “Poison Inside the Walls” to the SFF Online Writing Workshop (OWW) for review.  I was shocked to find that my 6900-word story registered as 8575 words!  This technically puts it over the 7500-word limit.  A quick search found another story scoring over 9000 words.  I’m sure there are more.

I’m new so I don’t want to rock the boat.  I’m not sure how they calculate their wordcount.  I suspect it’s based on pages or lines.

If anyone has advice about the OWW word count, let me know.  Otherwise, I am asking members to give advice.  (If any nonmembers want to chime in, let me know and I’ll email you a copy).


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin Parente permalink
    June 9, 2009 6:59 pm

    Hey Oso,

    I know what you mean by that strange word count on OWW, and I honestly cannot say where they get their count from. I actually think they may count it by paragraph indentations or page breaks because for a count to jump that much, there is something seriously wrong. But no problems there. However, reviewers do tend to flock to shorter word counts, 0 reviews, and those who they know to have solid writing which they can enjoy and keep up with religiously.



    • osomuerte permalink
      June 9, 2009 8:10 pm


      Thanks for dropping in. I understand the short wordcount attracting reviewers. I was at Critters a long time and saw it there. I often do it, too. *hides head in shame* Hopefully people will learn to hunt my stories down. Until then, I may do some C4C hunting.

      Don’t be a stranger.

  2. June 10, 2009 9:49 pm

    Hey, I saw your story there. I was going to wait until you had a review before I did one (since I know people like to do 0 review stories, so I figured I’d give someone else a chance before I jumped on it :P)

    Their wordcount thing is wonky, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m not sure how they do it either. I have a flash piece up that registers as 679 words on MS Word and 681 or something like that on the workshop, which isn’t a huge difference… But then I have chapters up that I counted at nearly 1k words different. The over 7500 word count seems to be a guideline more than a rule (I’ve never had an issue with something that OWW counts over that being removed), so I wouldn’t worry about it.

    Sometimes people hunting your stories down can be bad 😛 I know I’ve gotten a couple disappointed reviews from people who read one thing of mine and then hunted down the next thing and weren’t impressed or felt that the theme/style/genre didn’t work as well as the thing they loved 😛 But oh well, if a story was awesome and perfect, I wouldn’t post it to be workshopped 🙂

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