I would like to take this time to talk about something near and dear to all writers…word counts! Both the bane of our existence and a way to mark our progress.

Now, I would love to be able to say, just write and you are done when you’ve said all you have to say! Unfortunately, that isn’t quite the way it is, as both Mez and I have found out. She is writing a middle grade book and the last I heard, she’s around 120,000 words and still not finished. I wrote a young adult book that finished out at 83,000 words. We both have a problem.

When I submitted my story, Curiosity, to agents, I was told several times it was too short for a young adult fantasy novel, but my characters were too old for middle grade. I plan on trying to lengthen it once I’m done with the second in the trilogy. Mez is already planning on shortening her novel once she’s done with the first draft. Basically, we just need to switch with each other! (On a side note, I think one of the problems with both of us is description. I tend to forget to describe things, Mez describes in detail. It’s one reason we edit each other’s works!)

The goal for Novel in November is 50,000 words. This works for some genres, especially for middle grade. However, it’s a little short for young adult and adult novels. My suggestion is to figure out what genre you are going for, then look at the word counts for some published works to get something to aim for.

Here are some websites and blogs about word counts worth checking out!

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/word-count-for-novels-and-childrens-books-the-definitive-post

http://commonplacebook.com/art/books/word-count-for-famous-novels/

http://www.betternovelproject.com/blog/word-counts/

http://www.betterstorytelling.net/thebasics/storylength.html

So don’t follow our example and try to get your word counts near where the should be for your genre! Are you ready yet for Novel in November??