I had to use fic posted to AO3, since it's pretty difficult/impossible to automatically scrape information about fic posted to LJ or scattered across many other websites. I did scrape livejournal once, to look at fic written for the acd_holmesfest fic exchange, but it took ages, whereas scraping AO3 is easy.
So I wrote a script to automatically extract the metadata info for any subset of fic on AO3, and started by looking at the number of words per fic.
Data and images under the cut:
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