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
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
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.
- Defending Jacob (William Landay) 122,000
- We Were Liars (E. Lockhart, YA) 50,000
- The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins) about 104,000
- The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) 297,000
- I Am the Messenger (Markus Zusak, NA) 86,000
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon, YA) 62,000
Fiction Dealing with Kidnappings
- Girl, Stolen (April Henry, YA) 48,000
- Stolen (Lucy Christopher, YA) 84,000
- The Cellar (Natasha Preston, NA) 86,000
- The Bunker Diaries (Kevin Brooks, YA) 56,000
Realistic Fiction with Strong Family Dynamics
- Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson, YA) 47,000
- Just Listen (Sarah Dessen, YA) 98,000
- The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton, YA) 49,000
- Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell, YA) 78,000
- Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta, YA) 78,000
- Chains (Laurie Halse Anderson, historical) 75,000
Check out this site for details on other books.
Last Week’s Contributions to the Write Character Death:
- 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).