The Word Count

As I'm writing, I keep a track of my progress.  At the end of the day, I jot down my total word count of what I've been working on.  It is satisfying to know how much a writing project of mine is growing.  It's also a motivator to keep writing.  For those aiming to write a novel (it's a common New Years resolution), it's important to make sure your plot has enough flesh to meet the word count.  So keeping a general number in mind while you write is a good idea.  I remember when I first tried my hand at writing a novel.  I thought It was going to go by as easily as a gust of wind.  Hahahahahahaha.  My plot had fizzled out by twenty thousand words.  I've recently grown curious of how many words are in commonly read, published books.  With a little research, here is what I have come up with: 
Novels: Over 40,000 words
Moby Dick by Herman Melville: 209,590
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: 113, 652
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: 98,429
Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: 76,385
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: 48,600

Short Novels: 40,000 to 7,500 words
Night by Elie Wiesel: 31,931
Animal Farm by George Orwell: 29,853
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: 29,160
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: 28,221
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen: 16,916

Short Stories: Under 7,500 words
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: 1,386

Holy Bible (King James): 790,913
Declaration of Independence(not counting signatures): 1,333
Lyrics to "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles: 143

* Some would divide the short novel category into novella(17,500 to 40,00) and novelette( 7,500 to 17,500).

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