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  1. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Word Count

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SuperVenom, Oct 20, 2012.

    I am confused. Please help. Im writing in word and I have a word count at the bottom. Im not particularly far into the plot but I am at 33,000 words. I looked on Wikipedia and google for the word count of novels and was a little bit concerned that the average word count is 60,000 for a novel. What confused me more is (using a 12pt) am only at about 50 a4 pages. (dont worry i know that a novel isnt that size lol). Should i be halfway through by now?
    Basically what im asking is when you guys write on a A4(uk) or letter(us) how many pages do you kinda end up with. I know I should keep going without the restriction, but i do go off on a tangent, and want to know now if i need to edit, cut so i dont effect the continuity etc. as i can do that now easier than if i go further and bog myself down.
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    60,000 sounds short for a novel - I thought the accepted word count was 80/120,000.
     
  3. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Thank you, i was thinking the same. Trouble is different sites were giving me different values. 80/120,000 sounds more realistic. Never thought I'd be happy at a higher word count lol, a lot has changed.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    80-100k is the most preferred size for adult market novels by new and unknown writers... in the US...

    however, since you seem to be writing for the UK market, publishers there may have a different size limit preference...

    YA market novels generally run shorter, with those aimed at the lower half of the YA age range averaging around 40k...

    do not count pages... everyone in the professional writing/publishing world goes only by word total...
     
  5. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Word count for YA novel (of which I'm writing) as follows;

    Twilight: 118,975
    Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone: 77,508
    Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: 198,227
    Matched: 89,124
    Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief: 87, 223
    Eragon: 157,220
    The Hunger Games: 99,750
    The Giver: 43,617
    Across the Universe: 98,469
    Divergent: 105,143
    Graceling: 115,109
    Thirteen Reasons Why: 62,496
    Inkheart: 146,809
    The Golden Compass: 112,815
    The Book Thief: 118,933
    Uglies: 87,274
    City of Bones: 130,949
    Speak: 46, 591
    Looking for Alaska: 69,023
    City of Ember: 59,937
    A Great and Terrible Beauty: 95,605
    The Luxe: 88,982
    Shiver: 94,502

    edit: There doesn't seem to be any average, apart from they're all over 40K
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What word counts you find for published novels is far from relevant. With a few exceptions. they are not from first time authors. First time authors must comply with the publishers' submission word count guidelines if they even expect to get the manuscript to reach a submissions editor's desk. They receive far too many queries and manuscripts, and something as easily measured as a word limit is the first filter applied to limit the flood.

    After you're established, you get more leeway.

    Also, the final word count may not be what was originally submitted. That's only the word count that resulted after the submissions editor works with the author to turn a promising manuscript into one worth sending to the typesetting and layout team.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is also a big difference in the word count between books aimed at the upper ages of YA and the lower... for the lower range, 40-60k is the norm...
     
  8. FirstTimeNovelist91
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    FirstTimeNovelist91 Senior Member

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    I think Twilight was actually 133,000 words.

    Either way, still hefty for a first-time novelist!

     
  9. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    I just finished my own novel, and it weighed in at almost exactly 60K. I ran a word count from time to time as I was writing it, but I can honestly say that I was not writing to a specific word count. I was writing to get the full story told and to stop when the story was fully told. No more, no less.

    60K is definitely on the short side. Going any shorter than that gets you into novella territory, and there's not a big print market for novellas.

    But I think the writing style is also pertinent as well. A compact writing style can effectively get a full story told at lower counts, whereas a more expansive style needs more space to breathe. Because larger is more expensive to print, my uneducated hunch* is that publishers may worry more about new novels on the high-end of the word-count spectrum than they do about novels at the low end. Small presses may be more amenable to smaller novels, I am guessing.

    (* These are strictly uneducated guesses and hunches, so please take them for what they are worth. As the preferences of publishers aren't relevant to my own novel, I haven't really researched this.)
     

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