Length of novel issues

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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cmrprindle
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Re: Length of novel issues

Post by cmrprindle » February 6th, 2010, 7:01 pm

:D Thanks so much!

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ryanznock
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Re: Length of novel issues

Post by ryanznock » February 15th, 2010, 5:34 pm

The first novel I tried to pitch to an agent was, heh, 175k. That's what happens when you spend 4 years working on one novel without planning it out first.

My latest comes out to 110k. I could probably trim away a bit here or there, but I'm satisfied with her now.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Length of novel issues

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 16th, 2010, 12:00 am

Just finished reading my newest out loud. Twice. Takes three days each time. Three long days and plenty of lozenges. 97K.

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kelly.morgan
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Re: Length of novel issues

Post by kelly.morgan » February 16th, 2010, 3:14 pm

My word count is on the shallower end for the first draft but that's because I usually work on action and dialogue first then throw in the description, backstory, setting. I also have the hints of subplots in the first draft which I go back in and flesh out later. Still for this novel, fantasy no less, I will be surprised to go above 90k. So, I guess it's still on the lean side.

EvelynEhrlich
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Re: Length of novel issues

Post by EvelynEhrlich » February 16th, 2010, 11:15 pm

As others have mentioned, the typical word count of a novel will depend on the genre you're writing. 50k - 70k is great for YA, but it will probably be on the short side for anything else. Then again, I've read some amazing literary fiction that is also very short, coming in at close to 200 pages. I truly believe that if you listen to your story, it will tell you how long it needs to be. There's no need to stretch it because you're worried about word count, because it will be obvious that the extra words are just filler.

Not sure if this is your first book, but if it is, I've read that publishers prefer debut works to be on the lesser end of the word count spectrum (because more words = more paper = higher costs, and they want to keep costs down on books from unknowns because they don't know if you'll sell).

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