[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Before I begin a contracted writing assignment, I ask what the word count is.  For some reason, it’s always been helpful for me to have a number to either shoot for, or to remain between the boundaries.  For a recent article I was working on, the word count was 800.  At first, I didn’t know if I could find enough material to fill the space, but thankfully it didn’t take long and I was up to 1,200 words.  After the first round of edits, I was closer to 800.  But after the second, I clocked in at 600-something.  Thankfully, the art director for the publication was able to format the piece to fill the space.  And I realized how in some cases, more is better.  The more of something you have — in my case, words — the easier it is to pare it down to what you need.  In other words, if you start out with more, you can typically subtract from.

When do you think more is better?