1. Piankhy
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    Piankhy Member

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    Genre and Word Count Help?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Piankhy, Mar 30, 2012.

    First of all, wonderful community, you guys are really helpful with your advice. Second, it's newb question time(you've probably heard these questions before and are rolling your eyes. My apology in advance, lol)

    Okay, so I don't know if the novel I'm working on is "Young Adult" because the story follows the high school life of a teenager. I don't know if it would be "Urban" because the MC is black and there is a little Ebonic-speak present here and there(also n-word, light cussing etc). I don't know if it is a "Romantic Comedy or YA Romantic Comedy" because the MC's life changes drastically because of his involvement/infactuation with two particular girls. If this was animated, I'd just call it "Slice of Life" and leave it at that. It's about growing up, finding the person you want to be and going through adversity to achieve it.

    My word count question is this, are there novels besides fantasy and historical, that are really long? Like slice of life novels? I want the novel to cover all four of his high school years and it would be nice to not limit myself to a specific word count. I mean it's pretty messed up IMO that certain genres are allowed 1000+ page novels and others aren't. If a book is a good, I would like to think that a person would like it even better if it was longer(provided the author doesn't overkill certain themes or drag out stuff).

    Off the subject, I just read "I've got your number", pretty freaking hilarious if don't say so myself. Good read for romance/comedy fans
     
  2. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    Why are you worried about it? Write the story, forget its adherence to genre "regulations" and word limits, and let your editor figure it out if it's published.
     
  3. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I have no real experience in this but, to me, it feels like having 4 years in one book is a bit of an overkill. Or Are there other books beside the initial one you are talking about?
    But yeah, the legendary advice, just write the story and worry about these things later. You may never know what you'll end up keeping and discarding. Let the raw thoughts flow out of your mind and then polish it.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The word count accepted by publishers for manuscripts from unknown authors is based on their experience. Two short, or two long, and the novel stands an even poorer chance of covering the costs of publishing it. For the publisher, every novel by a new writing is a gamble with poor odds. It's only worth the gamble because some of those writers will go one to become money makers.

    It is those authors with a proven appeal that are permitted broader latitude in word counts.

    It's like any business. You don't get the juicy, challenging assignments until you've proven yourself.
     
  5. lycanman
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    lycanman New Member

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    Might be a bit of a repeated point but...

    If you have a whole story planned out and it looks like it might take longer then would be commercially viable for a single book, you could turn it to your advantage. Just look at what was done for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Both had an overall story planned out but the authors broke it down into smaller, more managable chunks.

    When you finish the first draft see if you can cut it down to a single book size, less can be more with writing. If that doesn't work then see if it can be a series.

    Until you get the first draft finished write the story for the sake of it. Markets and success should be secondary if your a hobby writer anyway, so start with the story you want to tell. Whether it fits into one book or many will resove itself eventually.

    Just my opinion
    Lycanman
     
  6. Herachrist
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    Herachrist New Member

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    Why worry about word count? Just because a book goes for 1,000+ pages doesn't mean it's good.

    Brevity is an art.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how long do you think your book is going to be?... YA can range from 40k on up to adult novel size of 100k [mss aren't sized by page count, only by word count], so since you're still working on this, it could well end up within the limit publishers will accept from a new and unknown writer... keep writing and when you get to the end of your character's first year of the four, you'll have some idea of how long or short it'll end up as...

    in re genre, don't worry about that now, either... just write the book and see where it falls when it's finished...

    meanwhile, do your homework and check out similar books in the YA market and see how yours stacks up...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  8. Piankhy
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    Piankhy Member

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    Thanks for the fast replies!

    Lol, I actually have wrote without worrying about regulations before. That resulted in me writing a story that was 120,000 words and was only half-way complete. I was advised to redo and make it into two books instead of one. If I have to do the same with this one, I'd rather know in advance.

    Well the first project I started, the MC is a college student. The one I'm working on now is more of a prequel. I'm not sure but normally you wouldn't spilt a prequel into more than two books. That's why I'm trying to put 4 years in one book. Lol maybe 40,000 words per year?

    That's pretty much what my editor-friend said. Realistic advice but not encouraging. I get the point though.

    That would be a good idea if I wasn't writing this as a prequel for another book. Though it makes me wonder if I should just start writing the series from the very beginning, making this book the first, and the other a sequel.

    I know that a book with 1000+ pages, isn't automatically good. I was trying to say that I would like to write without worrying about a word count limit. It puts pressure on me and makes me make my story plot less complex, or take out scenes that I think might be mandatory.

    Right now, I'm sitting on 17,000 words. I planned on time-skipping to his sophomore year around 20,000-25,000 words. If I kept at that pace, the book could potentially be at 200,000 words. And from the word count limits that seem to be in place, that seems like a big no no. Also, I'm not sure if the book could be considered "YA", which is why it was one of my questions. Although the MC is a teen, the book would still be enjoyable for an adult to read. Not to mention that it is primarily adults whom I get feedback from.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    regardless of how many of your adult friends have liked it, with your m/c a teen, and the setting high school, the book is still going to be considered as targeting the YA market...

    and yes, 200k will keep it from being published by a paying press... i doubt you'll see any agent/publisher interest in it if it's over 110k, so you're going to have to rein in your word-spewing and cut out all the extraneous gluck, stick to the story...

    if you'd post a sample few paragraphs, we can see if you're including too much that doesn't need to be there... such as writing every insignificant detail of characters' actions [micro-managing], or tossing in descriptive minutiae that can be done without, and so on...
     

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