Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Young Adult
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-26-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
nevermore-nightshade
Poe Groupie and Lunchtime Writer
 
nevermore-nightshade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere snowy
Posts: 52
nevermore-nightshade is on a distinguished road
How long can a YA fantasy be?

The general rule, as I've heard it from various sources, is that a young adult novel should be in 60-69k range in word count. I've also read that fantasies can usually get away with being longer. Assuming that this novel is a debut, how long, maximum, do you think a YA epic fantasy could be in order for an agent to even consider it?
__________________
This is a signature.

"Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore!'"--E.A. Poe

I'm writing a novel but I'm too paranoid to tell anyone about it.

If my posts here aren't overly obnoxious to you, you might like my blog...http://herestous.wordpress.com

Oh, Pro Iuppiter.
nevermore-nightshade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
Cyia
Rewriting My Destiny
 
Cyia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Brillig in the slithy toves...
Posts: 13,709
Cyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCyia is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevermore-nightshade View Post
The general rule, as I've heard it from various sources, is that a young adult novel should be in 60-69k range in word count.

BS.

I queried at 125, subbed at 108, and the book's currently at 102.

Plenty of books are longer than that, and I don't just mean Twilight's 118 (Tender Morsels is 130; Beautiful Creatures 140+)

The word range you've listed is the average for CONTEMPORARY, but even that's not set in stone. The one in my sigline went out at over 80.
__________________
_


Cyia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
KateSmash
[Insert something witty here]
 
KateSmash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,189
KateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolnessKateSmash leaves trails of profuse coolness
60-70k is usually cited for contemporaries and whatnot, that don't need quit the same level of world building.

As far as fantasy, most agents say under 100K. But really, the length thing has become increasingly fluid over the last few years. Make it as long as it needs to be, but also make sure every word counts. A tight, polished ms of 140k looks better than word vomit of the same length. And be prepared to cut down regardless.
KateSmash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
Missus Akasha
I'm a monster. I'm a saint.
 
Missus Akasha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,327
Missus Akasha has a spectacular auraMissus Akasha has a spectacular aura
I know that there are fantasy YA novels out there that are over 100K, but I think that depends on the final word count of your manuscript and if it's a good premise when you're querying. Some literary agents reject manuscripts according to word count alone.

I think Colleen Lindsay sums it up perfectly in an entire blog post here. This is his advice about word count for YA fantasy below.

Quote:
YA fiction = For mainstream YA, anywhere from about 45k to 80k; paranormal YA or YA fantasy can occasionally run as high as 120k but editors would prefer to see them stay below 100k. The second or third in a particularly bestselling series can go even higher. But it shouldn't be word count for the sake of word count.
I am writing a YA fantasy and I am trying to stay at word count of 70-85K. However, I think you should write what comes to you and then when you're finished, start revising and editing. That should reduce your word count, if you think it's too high.
__________________

WIPs:
We Must Be Killers: Batman and Kick Ass meets Dexter meets Count of Monte Cristo



Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Gide
The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Dennis
I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.
Missus Akasha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
randi.lee
More cowbell!
 
randi.lee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 1,018
randi.lee is a shiny, shiny jewelrandi.lee is a shiny, shiny jewel
I'm writing a YA and am trying to keep the word count at 90,000 to avoid the 100+ instant reject. As others have said, staying under 100 might be better, but some do crown around 120-140.
__________________
Facebook | Twitter
The Emotional Process of Writing a Novel

Please try not to take me too seriously. What I've posted above is most likely in jest.

Snap! A Quite Quick Collection now available on Amazon.
randi.lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
kaitlin008
Seeing newness all the time
 
kaitlin008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,003
kaitlin008 has earned our admirationkaitlin008 has earned our admirationkaitlin008 has earned our admirationkaitlin008 has earned our admiration
Epic fantasy tends to be longer, anyway, so I doubt any agent would be too startled to see a query for a 100k+ epic fantasy, even in YA. The important thing is that you use your words well.
__________________
kaitlin008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
J.S.F.
practical experience, FTW
 
J.S.F.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Osaka
Posts: 4,580
J.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJ.S.F. is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
It also depends on whether you're doing e-publishing or going the traditional route. Traditional can be long i.e. over 110000 but a lot of e-pubs want YA to be around 80000 give or take a few, and some will go up to 100000. What is comes down to is how good the story is, how much needs to be cut, and whether the publisher will go along with something longer. Both of my novels clocked in at around 90000 and 'Threadweaver' which I'm in the process of editing now, will finish at just under 90000.
J.S.F. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 01:24 AM   #8
Danthia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
50-100K is pretty standard for YA, though there are exceptions. I write fantasy and I personally aim for 60K for a MG novel and 80K for YA. When I was editing my MG/YA for submission, my agent suggested I keep it under 70K as a debut author.

It really has more to do with the pacing than the word count, though long word counts can get an auto reject if the query doesn't knock the socks off. Mostly because long word counts tend to signal a novel that's not ready and needs more editing. Pair that with a query that is overwritten and it's most likely going to be a "no thanks."

If the novel is paced well, hooks the reader and keeps them desperate to know what happens next through the entire novel, word count doesn't matter all that much. The longer the novel, the better the query needs to be IMHO, because you want to prove you don't waste a word and can use them effectively. You'd also want to show enough plot to say why you need all those words.

Longer books cost more money to print, so if you're going for a tradition publishing deal, that's something to consider. Publishers might think twice about spending more on a big book than a smaller one. If they're on the fence about it, a high word count could push you over it.

I feel it's a good idea to stick with traditional word counts as a first-timer to stand the best chance. No reason to give yourself potential negatives before they even see the story. I'd say keep it under 90K, but I'm sure you'll find plenty who'll give you a different number.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 06:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.