The post with the most hits on my website BY FAR is ‘Word Counts’. Clearly, we writers are a bit obsessed with counting them there words. . Funny that, how numbers occupy so much of our brains. I think three deep concerns are the drivers for this:
- Trying to ensure we’re a good fit for our genre
- Not wanting to leave ANY excuse for rejection
- Desperately wanting to know ‘Are we nearly there yet?’
Given that’s it’s such an interesting topic, I thought I’d dust off that old post and update it a bit….
Getting a feel for the right length of your novel is a puzzling thing. I know it shouldn’t matter – a story takes as long to be told as a story takes to be told BUT I do tend to obsess about it. I think I like guidelines – like to know I’m on the right track. So here are some for comparison – they’re my choice, books I love – some of them quite surprised me:
E M Lochart, We Were Liars – 50189
Louis Sachar’s ‘Holes’ – 47079
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go – 112022
Sally Gardner’s, Maggot Moon – 31057
John Green, A Fault in Our Stars – 65752
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games – 99750
David Almond’s ‘Skellig’ – 31202
Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Private Peaceful’ 46316
Francesca Simon’s ‘Horrid Henry’ between 5,000 and 7,500
J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone’ – 77325
Pat Walsh, The Crowfield Demon – 75652
Anthony Mcgowan, Hello Darkness – 47426
Philip Reeve & Sarak McIntyre, Oliver and the Seawigs – 17544
Strange how similar they feel in story weight – The Hunger Games didn’t feel like it was 3 times as long as Maggot Moon!
If I’ve listed your book, do feel free to dispute my word counts – I didn’t actually count them all myself – I’m not that desperate for procrastination tools…although….
I take requests, name your book and I’ll do my best!
Kathryn Evans is the author of More of Me. She’ll be appearing at YAShot on 22nd October 2016. If you enjoyed More of Me, please vote for it in the EdBookFest first book award You have until the middle of October. Thanks!