88,600 and how I learnt to stop worrying about word count

The thing about word counts is as high as they go they’ll eventually hit a plateau. At some point I have to end the story and not make a blithering mess of it. I’m so very close to the end and I feel like even my characters are just saying get on with it.

Right now, my characters are preparing for their last day together before they journey to Hell. What would you do with your last day? Clearly, be with the ones you love, try to stretch time, try to do all the things you always wanted to do, and love fiercely. It’s time to let them be on their path, to let them go bravely, and to write an ending that is just another beginning.



People I’ve spoken to have told me that YA paranormal word count is shorter than the average novel 50-80K. If this is the average based on an editor’s preference I’m not in favour of that. I find it hard to believe that authors would limit themselves. Apparently publishers don’t want a 100-120K word count for the first book. I suppose this is for printing cost reasons? Yet another reason why I am going to self publish. That sound self righteous, but enforced limitations is something that doesn’t sit well with me. No thank you.

I’ve been looking into what the average YA paranormal novel word count come in at and here’s a blog post I found most useful:

Average Word Counts
Micro-Fiction – up to 100 words
Flash Fiction – 100 – 1,000 words, usually no more than 500.
Short Story – 1,000 – 7,500 words
Novellette – 7,500 – 18,000 words
Novella – 20,000 – 45,000 words
General Novel – 50,000 -110,000

Genre Guidelines
Young adult – 55,000-90,000 words
– YA contemporary tends to be on the shorter side, 60-70k
– YA fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal tends to fall on the longer side due to world building,

I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m at and by most standards I fall quite nicely into the norm. This is the only time in my life where I’ve given a hoot about the norm/average. I’m going to enjoy my accomplishments so far and keep going! There’s a story to be told and I’m going to do it.


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