9 Comments

Izzy May I: The Write Word Count

Word Count: Some writers obsess over it, while others couldn’t care less. Either way, if you’re seeking publication, there will come a time when you’re asked for the estimated word count of your manuscript.

Is 50,000 not enough? Is 115,000 tipping the scale? Most agents, editors, authors, and fellow bloggers agree that…

In general . . .

  • Novel: 50,000+
  • Novella: 20,000 to 50,000
  • Novelette: 8,000 to 20,000
  • Short Stories: 1,000 to 8,000
  • Flash Fiction: 100 to 500

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Now let’s dig a little deeper. . .

  • Picture Books (PB; more of a format): 50 to 1,000
  • Middle Grade: 20,000 to 55,000
  • Romance: 40,000 to 100,000 (mainstream 70-100K)
  • Young Adult (YA): 50,000 to 85,000 (preferably 55-80K)
  • New Adult (NA): 50,000 to 85,000
  • Mysteries / Thrillers / Suspense: 70,000 to 90,000
  • Cozy Mysteries: 70,000 to 75,000
  • Crime: 75,000 to 100,000
  • Paranormal: 75,000 to 95,000
  • Horror: 80,000 to 100,000
  • Literary / Commercial / Women’s: 80,000 to 110,000 (100K is preferable)
  • Fantasy: 90,000 to 100,000
  • Sci-Fi: 90,000 to 125,000
  • Historical: 100,000 to 120,000

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Interesting, right?

But I think we can make it more personal. You’ll see below that I’ve compiled yet another list. 😀 I wanted to get a better sense of how my word count compares to other books that touch on similar subjects or themes. Please feel free to comment below or compare your own word count to other books in a new post that’s linked back to mine.

I should also mention that the genre of my manuscript is YA psychological suspense. My original word count was 110,000 — but I’ve decided to split the book in half and add more detail to both. That leaves me with 55K words for both books before further revision.

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Suspense/Psychological Fiction

suspense 3

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon, YA) 62,000

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Fiction Dealing with Kidnappings

birdcage

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Realistic Fiction with Strong Family Dynamics

realistic fiction

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Check out this site for details on other books.

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  • Rachel: What would I do without her? She never fails to make suggestions that stop you in your tracks. She recommended the Australian movie called “Japanese Story,” which I still have yet to watch. It’s such a shame that the movie isn’t on YouTube or streaming on Netflix. But I won’t give up!
  • Curtis Bausse: This guy right here! He tried to kill off Mabel Moo and nearly ripped hearts out — but Mabel Moo isn’t one to stay dead. 😛 Other characters who found that death didn’t work for them were Sherlock Holmes (The Final Problem, Conan Doyle) and Ursula (Life After Life, Kate Atkinson).

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9 comments on “Izzy May I: The Write Word Count

  1. I’ve read many books on the lists you’ve provided here. I keep hoping that I’ll find the time and get the courage to write the book inside me but as of yet, nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those figures are really interesting. I can’t imagine writing over 50 000 words. I guess it depends on how the story pans out as to what word count you end up with. There’s no use waffling on about something that doesn’t really add to your story just to reach the 50 000 word mark. Wow, 297 000 words! (The Goldfinch). That’s amazing!

    Any luck with Japanese Story?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] this week’s Izzy May I: The Write on the topic of word counts in fiction, Izzy does a great job of discussing word counts by genre, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] week, I wrote about Word Count to get a better sense of how my manuscript, complete at 55K, compares to other […]

    Like

  5. […] Contributions to the Write Word Count: […]

    Like

  6. You are having way too much fun here!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting stats. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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