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Do speech bubbles in illustrations add to word count?

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So far I've been adding them to my total word count. But what are your thoughts? Do speech bubbles in the illustrations need to be included?
#1 - October 03, 2013, 10:38 PM

I would say words that add to the story, no matter where they are on the page, should be added to the word count.

#2 - October 04, 2013, 05:59 AM

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I count any words that will actually appear on the page in the finished book.
#3 - October 04, 2013, 08:29 AM

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My chapter books have speech bubbles and it definitely is included in the word count.
#4 - October 04, 2013, 08:36 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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On a related note, how do you indicate speech bubbles in the MS? Do you put in a illo note?
#5 - October 04, 2013, 11:10 AM
How to Wear a Sari (HMH Books/Versify, Spring 2021)
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My editor and I have made our own indicators for speech bubbles, text and illustration notes (since I am also the illustrator we have lots of illo notes so she knows what I have in mind before I do the rough sketches, if you aren't the illustrator, these will be minimal). We put the speech bubbles in italics with a hyphen and character name, narrative text normal, and illustration notes in parentheses. I honestly don't know if there is a standard. I would just make a notation at the top of the ms how you've formatted it.
#6 - October 04, 2013, 11:29 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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thanks artemesia!
#7 - October 06, 2013, 12:42 AM
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I lean toward agreeing with Donna: that words in the speech bubbles should be included in the final word count.

You should be aware, though, that some editors don't like speech bubbles in picture books. I know mine (Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster Children's) doesn't.

Debbie
#8 - October 17, 2013, 07:16 AM
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