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Sunday, November 7, 2010

What About Word Count?

I remember a time when I actually believed all that advice about how not to dwell on word count.  Wonderful sounding advice like, "Just focus on telling the story and when it is done, it is done."  Well such advice is nice to accept when you just want to write a story.  Yet when you try to go and sell that story you will soon find out that word count IS important.  Remember your book is your baby but it is their product.  And that product must fit inside the standards set by the industry.  Of course, there are those who ignored such guidelines and still managed to obtain some sort of success but such folks are a rarity.  Moreover, with the rejection rate for new submissions being high do you really want to take such a risk?  After some digging, I found the rejection rate to be over 90%.  Here are some general guidelines and links to help you with the word count dilemma: 
Adult Fiction:  around 80,000 but stay away from the 100,000 word count
Science Fiction/Fantasy: around 100,000 is ideal and 80,000 is considered short
Middle Grade: anywhere from 20,000 to 45,000 is good
Young Adult: around 50,000 to around 70,000+
Young Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy: can be longer than 70,000
The Swivet
Fiction Factor
Guide to Literary Agents
  And as always happy reading, writing or whatever:) 
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