Writing Books/word count


i'm confused. Most websights say that the average word count for a novel is 50,000- 100,000, but other's say it's 75,000. I am a brand new writers, and I don't want to write to many words, and then have to tone it down. what's the best word count for a first time author? Is the count different for someone who is wrtiing for young adult- teens?


This is a rather subjective question, because different people have different opinions about such things.  There isn't any set rule regarding length.

Any of the above numbers would "work" for a novel, I suppose.  But honestly, 50,000 words is a mighty short novel.  I've heard that the average is 90,000, but again, who's to say that's correct?

ABSOLUTELY different genres have typically different average lengths of books.  I have no idea what YA books average, but your best bet is to go to a bookstore, compare ten or twelve books in the genre, and estimate the word count.  (The quick and dirty way to do this is to count the number of lines on an average page, multiply that by the number of words on an average line, and then multiplying by the number of pages.)

You're right to be concerned about word count.  Many publishers are unwilling to publish anything they consider "long" by a previously-unknown author.

Hope this helps.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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