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I have been working on my WIP. Despite several efforts to beef up the original 50K word count, with added descriptions and plot hole filling it is still just shy of 54K/

 

My question is this - is that too short for a novel. It is aimed at adult and would probably be called  'up-market romance fiction'.

 

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1 hour ago, Shamrock said:

I have been working on my WIP. Despite several efforts to beef up the original 50K word count, with added descriptions and plot hole filling it is still just shy of 54K/

 

My question is this - is that too short for a novel. It is aimed at adult and would probably be called  'up-market romance fiction'.

 

I'm working on getting mine up to 50k right now. 😅

My impression is anything over 50k is long enough to be a novel. 

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5 hours ago, Shamrock said:

Despite several efforts to beef up the original 50K word count, with added descriptions and plot hole filling it is still just shy of 54K/

Hate to be the buzzkill, but it depends. What type of romance are you writing? I only know that because I write historical/fantasy romance, which is a higher word count. Also, some publishers have a word count range for subgenres. That said, I think 54k is a great number to work with! 🙂 It can be added to if you need to, so no worries. I know how SW likes your work, so it has to be good!! 

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Found this list at https://careerauthors.com/genre-book-length/

 

I will reiterate what they say. Romance publishers have imprints for each subgenre. They will have narrow bands of word count for each one. Some of them go as low as 50,000, but others start higher.

 

Also, I would drop the sci-fi lower limit to 90,000. 

 

Romance: 65,000–80,000 words (Most romance imprints have specific word count requirements that writers should know and observe before they submit.)

Mystery: 80,000 words (Subgenres like cozies tend to be a bit shorter, often coming in at 70,000–80,000 words.)

Science fiction: 100,000–120,000 words

Thriller: 90,000–100,000 words

True Crime: 90,000–100,000 words

Historical fiction: 100,000–150,000 words (This may depend on the topic and demands of the marketplace.)

Mainstream women’s fiction: 90,000–100,000 words

Memoir/Bio: 70,000–90,000 words

Literary fiction: 80,000–100,000 words

Young Adult: 70,000–80,000 words

Middle Grade: 40,000–50,000 words

Picture books: 500–700 words

 

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22 hours ago, Shamrock said:

I have been working on my WIP. Despite several efforts to beef up the original 50K word count, with added descriptions and plot hole filling it is still just shy of 54K/

 

My question is this - is that too short for a novel. It is aimed at adult and would probably be called  'up-market romance fiction'.

 

 

No.

 

But, when it hits an editor (assuming you haven't hit one already), you'll lose anywhere from 5-20% of that word count.

 

I started at 82,000+.  After a line and content edit, I dropped to roughly 73,000 (closer to 74,000).

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10 minutes ago, Jeff Potts said:

But, when it hits an editor (assuming you haven't hit one already), you'll lose anywhere from 5-20% of that word count.

 

I would agree with that if you are over 90K. As I said I tend to be shy of the upper end. With Demons I ended up being advised to add in one two chapters to explore a r in more depth which took the word count from 70K -88K.  No, I have not passed it by an editor - the next challenge is checking out the legal bits and the get it beta read.

 

17 hours ago, Alley said:

Also, some publishers have a word count range for subgenres. That said, I think 54k is a great number to work with

 

Yes, very true I will need to check that out.

17 hours ago, Alley said:

I know how SW likes your work, so it has to be good!! 

 

Awh 😊 thank you.

 

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19 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

I would agree with that if you are over 90K. As I said I tend to be shy of the upper end. With Demons I ended up being advised to add in one two chapters to explore a r in more depth which took the word count from 70K -88K.  No, I have not passed it by an editor - the next challenge is checking out the legal bits and the get it beta read.

 

Just a somewhat humorous story during my experience.

 

I write each chapter in its own document.  This is because I write a lot of stuff on my tablet, and synchronize stuff with Microsoft OneDrive.  Applications like Word autosave periodically, so if you have a huge manuscript, it lags horribly with each autosave.  So, cutting down the number of words in a document make the autosave go quicker.

 

Then, when I'm done, I assemble all of the chapters together in a manuscript.

 

Funny thing is when I sent my manuscript out, it was some 82,000 words (or thereabouts).  Only after I got it back did I notice that a revision for Chapter 1 also included the old version of that chapter.  So I ended up paying for roughly 4000 more words than needed to be edited.  🤬

 

On top of that, I had to wade through the comments of a very confused editor.  Mainly because she thought that this was merely part of the same chapter.

 

So yeah, I lost a LOT of words after editing...

 

 

Edited by Jeff Potts
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4 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

But, when it hits an editor (assuming you haven't hit one already), you'll lose anywhere from 5-20% of that word count.

Good point, unless there are missing elements. I bet a good editor would love the chance to suggest things to deep dive into and expand. We don't get to flip our focus from cutting to building up that often, but I know it's a fun thing to tell someone "Great job on this, give me more!"

Edited by Celebrianne
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