Many of the writing contests I enter have a limit on how many characters my entry can have. So I'm wondering, what counts as a character? Do spaces count? What about commas and periods?
Technically, everything you type is a character, including letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation.
Some contests may not count spaces or punctuation. But if the rules don't explicitly state that some characters are excluded from the character count, I would count them all. It's better to trim a few letters from your entry than to be disqualified for exceeding the character count.
How Can I Tell How Many Characters My Entry Has?If you're not sure whether your entry is under the allowed character limit, here are a few ways to find out:
- Use a Word Processor. Copy your entry into a word processor like MS Word. Then click on the Word Count feature to see the number of characters.
- Use a Free Character Counter. I have a free character counter that lets you paste in your entry and it will give you the total number of characters.