Today I open up my WIP for the first time in 2 weeks and I am ready to keep going on it. Plotwise, I have written somewhere between 45% and 50% of the story. It is an action comedy for YA (14-20 age range) - a stand alone story with the potential to expand into additional stories afterward. Problem: I only have 23k words. Man, this story I feel is my most promising effort so far in terms of one day being published, but I am estimating only 50-55k words upon completion. I look at some things on this site and they say that at least 60k words are needed for this type of story, and then other sources say that publishers expect even more words than that for a first time author. I dunno. How can I be expected to pump out so many words when the story is designed to be fast-paced and to the point? Is it okay to have such a word count for this target audience?