YA fantasy word count?

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YA fantasy word count?

Post by saraflower » June 12th, 2011, 10:30 am

I know that YA book lengths are usually around the 40,000 to 50,000 word count range. Would this also apply to fantasy, or would it be longer even for YA?

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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by Beethovenfan » June 12th, 2011, 1:29 pm

The way I understand things, agents and publishers tend to give a little more leeway when it comes to fantasy because they understand that it takes more to build a new fantasy world. Even if your world is right here on good 'ol planet Earth the story still needs room to build the "fantasy" part of it. I'm guessing here, but a good number to go on would be around 10,000 to 20,000 words beyond the average for a given genre.
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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by maybegenius » June 12th, 2011, 2:32 pm

Actually, 40K to 50K is on the short side, even for a YA novel. An average YA novel is 45K-80K. YA Fantasy does tend to be longer, often in the 80K-120K range. However, a lot of agents and publishers have indicated that they prefer any first-time author to stay below the 90K range. That's usually about production concerns -- since they don't know which first-time authors are going to succeed and which aren't, they prefer the first book to be less of a risk. Therefore, a little shorter.

Anyway. If you stay somewhere between 80K-90K, you should be fine.
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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 12th, 2011, 4:20 pm

Here's a great post by Jenn Laughran about average word counts. Don't get too caught up in word counts, but if you're just looking for ballpark info this is helpful: http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/05 ... acula.html

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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by washingtonwriter1968 » August 29th, 2011, 11:14 pm

Ouch My YA debut novel needs a diet LOL! :lol:
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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by Collectonian » August 29th, 2011, 11:26 pm

Mine still needs to hit some ice cream LOL

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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by Sanderling » August 30th, 2011, 11:27 pm

I kind of feel that a story is as long as it needs to be in order to do the story justice - no less, but no more. I think that an under-written story is just as bad as an over-written one. Don't shy away from those extra words if you feel those extra words need to be said. Don't try to bulk up your story with extra fluff just to make a word target.

If your book is awesome, you can get away with longer (or shorter) lengths. Even as a debut author. Cassandra Clare's debut City of Bones is 131,000 words. Stephenie Meyer's debut Twilight is 119,000 words. Kristin Cashore's debut Graceling is 115,000 words. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Lisa McMann's debut Wake is 37,000 words. Gayle Forman's debut If I Stay is 50,000 words.

The key is just to make your book the best it can be, and use the words you need to to make it so.

I found this website a while ago through a link from someone's blog. It provides details about books, including their word counts. I've gone through and looked up a lot of my favourite YA titles to see how long those books are. It's surprising just how all over the map they are.

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Re: YA fantasy word count?

Post by Philabuster » September 1st, 2011, 4:06 pm

I agree with sanderling. This is your story...you decide how long it should be. Obviously if you're hitting 150,000 then maybe you might want to break it up in two stories, but you shouldn't omit something, or needlessly add anything, just to fit a word count. If the story calls for it...do it! If not...don't.

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