I'm averaging 340 words per page. The industry standard is 250. I'm using the correct formatting for a novel manuscript - 12 point Times New Roman, 1" margins, double spaced, 8.5 x 11 page, left aligned.

Please help! Trying to structure the novel and fix pacing and plot structure and scrivener says its a 98,000, 305 pages but everything on the internet says at that many words, it's over 400 pages.

  • 2
    Are you sure your page size is correct? Most books use a much smaller page size, often between 5" x 8" and 6" x 9".
    – user54131
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 18:42
  • If it's a work of fiction, how much dialog do you have? How much of the page is white space? A good "hack" for keeping a fiction reader from skimming or putting the book down is to make sure there are no massive blocks of text without fields of white between them. It may be just alright, but it's usually a sign the text is a long explanation, info dump, or one character lecturing in long paragraphs of monologing. If this is a work of fiction, that is... and massive blocks of text from the first row to the last will pack more words per page.
    – Erk
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 0:07
  • By the way, there is a setting in Scrivener for estimated page size (under the stats function). Scrivener will use that setting to calculate the number of pages. I think, per default, it's set to 400 words per page. You can change it to 250. Or anything else. Also, the number of words per page in a book is a bit like asking for the length of a rope. Have you tried compiling to a PDF or something? epub? I think then you'll get a more accurate assessment of the number of pages. Scrivener's stats (if you're using it) are just a suggestion.
    – Erk
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


From wordcounter.io, which should know about word counting

How many words per page are there in a typical novel? For manuscripts, the answer is about 250–300 words per page if it is double-spaced.

And that is the average. Thus 340 is not entirely off the chart.

To satisfy your curiosity you can try copy-pasting Ulysses by James Joyce into your setup and checking what's the average number of words per page. I think it goes around 320.

Note that the number of pages may well depend on the average length of your words, whether you have a lot of dialogues, and whether you have short paragraphs, or just a wall of text.

Also, Scrivener has two approaches to computing the number of pages, and one is the 'accurate one', which will actually try to fit your text onto pages with the settings you have provided. Another way to test this would be to generate a PDF, check that the measurements of the page are correct in terms of paper size, margins, font and line spacing, and check the total number of pages.

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    Yes, I make a PDF and then zoom out the pages until I can only see the blocks of text as blobs across multiple pages in a grid. If the blobs seem unhealthy, then you know you have a problem. Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 14:38

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