novel-stats produces word count statistics for novels written in Markdown format, including total word count, per-chapter word counts, per-act word counts, and counts by chapter "status." You might find this useful if you're already using tools like Git and Markdown processing as part of your writing workflow (or are looking to start) and want some basic statistics about your novel as you're writing it.
novel-stats is fairly particular about the format of the novel and doesn't currently include much in the way of error checking. Word counts may not be exact.
$ novel-stats example.md chapter 1: 103 words (drafted) chapter 2: 83 words (dev edited) chapter 3: 115 words chapter 4: 96 words chapter 5: 136 words (drafted) act 1: 187 words (~34%) act 2: 212 words (~39%) act 3: 137 words (~25%) drafted: 239 words (~44%) dev edited: 83 words (~15%) total: 539 words
Start by cloning the project with git. Then install it with Python's
pip3 install /path/to/novel-stats
Or, if you'd like to install it "editable" (making development/updates easier):
pip3 install --editable /path/to/novel-stats
novel-stats takes a single argument: The path to your novel file in markdown format. For instance:
You'll need to format your novel in the expected format for novel-stats to work.
Title and author
# for the title and
### for author name. Example:
# Title of the Novel ### Author Name
These lines are generally ignored, although they do show up in the total word count.
novel-stats expects chapters to start with
## and to have a numeric title
(no "Chapter", etc.). Example:
## 1 Once upon a time ...
Chapter "status" is an optional feature that lets you indicate certain chapters as "drafted", "dev edited", etc. and then get word count totals for each status. This is useful for tracking the progress of your novel chapter-by-chapter as you write or revise.
## 3 [status]: # (drafted)
Other Markdown processing tools should ignore these "comments", so they shouldn't show up in the processed contents of your novel. If you do use this feature, you should set the status at the top of each chapter, before the actual chapter contents.
There are no set values for the chapter status. Use the statuses that make sense for your writing workflow.
Acts are an optional feature that let you indicate certain chapters as part of a particular act number and then get word count totals for each act. This is useful for keeping an eye on how big your acts are in relation to one another.
## 8 [act]: # (2)
You only need to set the act for the first chapter in the act. Subsequent chapters are assumed to be in the same act unless otherwise indicated.
If you do use this feature, you should set the status at the top of each chapter, before the actual chapter contents (and after any chapter status).
novel-stats includes an example Markdown file
example.md that illustrates
the expected Markdown format. Try it out: