Word Count

A very brief post for the night.  (I spent too many hours losing money on slot machines today – the things I do for my mom.)

I see a LOT of posts on the forums where newbie authors are talking about their first novel that they’ve slaved over for years and years and when they mention a word count I cringe.  The post usually reads something like, “I spent the last ten years working on my novel and it’s finally done at 280,000 words” or something similar.

Unfortunately, these poor souls will then sub their novel and never understand why they’re getting form rejections.  So, in the interest of spreading the knowledge, I present a good resource on average word counts for various genres:

All new & revised: On word counts and novel length

As the post says, there are always exceptions to the rules.  But you better be damned good if you’re going to get away with breaking them and it’s always better to know what they are first.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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3 Responses to Word Count

  1. Well, if you add the words in my first and second rewrite, I’m at 140k. Of course, then I decided to scrap everything and start with a zero word count on the third rewrite. /sigh

    • mhleewriter says:

      Well, take heart. Some absolutely amazing books have been scrapped and rewritten from scratch. So, maybe you’re just taking the harsh steps you need to to achieve greatness. 🙂

      I seem to recall hearing that that’s what happened with Memoirs of a Geisha. And that book did fairly well…

  2. Pingback: Query Letters (Part 2) | M.H. Lee

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