Wednesday, July 15, 2009

YA Fiction

Lots more research done - surfing the web is one of my true skills - and I've discovered a couple of things.

There is no definitive word length for YA. Books have been published from 20k up to and past 100K. The majority of sources quote 40-60K as the norm. Surprisingly few suggest checking with the guidelines on prospective agents or publishers websites (I would suggest this be a step set in concrete).

Secondly, a good YA story will take as many words as it takes to tell the whole story so write the manuscript, polish it till it shines, and then worry about word length.

Doesn't that second one sound like good advice for all fiction?

So if you take care of the second point, the first point will take care of itself, and don't believe everything you read on the web. There are a lot of uninformed people out there who are either guessing or purposely spreading bad information...150K as the norm - as if!

Back to work...


  1. Yeah, I read some of that 150K word garbage pertaining to YA. Yikes. Who are these "experts"?

    Have they every read a YA book outside of Twilight or Harry Potter?

  2. At 150,000 words, a YA book better shit gold and fart rainbows!

  3. I always hold with the 'a story will be as long as it's supposed to be' hence tiny MG's. :D

  4. When I considered writing this YA novel a few years back, I looked up this site that had word counts of all the notable YA novels.

    I wanted to base them on the Goosebumps books and they were 25,000 each usually.

  5. Some of the most successful books in history have been under 40K. Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, I could go on.

  6. I agree with Aaron who are these experts? the ones to listen too are the publishers and agents they will soon tell you what's what.

  7. 150k, geez. Crazy talk! Sometimes I wonder if some of these "experts" actually know what word count means.