Death by Word Count

So, after 10 months, I’ve finally done it!  Last night I finished the final read-through of The Quadrants.

I began writing The Quadrants in July last year, and could have had it finished after 8 months, except for the fact that the original manuscript was 131,000 words long.  Cutting out 21,000 words is surprisingly time consuming, but I hope now I’ve come up with a faster paced, more gripping story.

Even at 110,000 words, I fear it will be considered too long for most agents to be inspired to consider. -sigh-  So… I guess I’d better google it.

Well, that was depressing!  Here’s what I found:

Word counts of some novels by debut authors

Twilight – 118,975

Divergent – 105,143

Maze runner – 101,182

Hunger Games – 99,750

The Hobbit: 95,022

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – 76,944

And then there’s War and Peace – 561,304

Google came up with dozens of articles/websites saying that to be considered by an agent or publisher, a YA novel should be within the following word count ranges:

45,000 – 80,000


50-80  – I found lots of votes on this range.

80 – 100

120,000  – occasionally as high as this for YA fantasy

Another site said that going any higher than 80,000 words means that you don’t know how to self-edit.

Sooo… despite my excitement of a few paragraphs ago, it looks like the result of my extensive research is… OMG, I’ve got to cut out 10,000 more words from The Quadrants. 😦     Waaa, kill me now.






About Rohsaan McInnes

I am an aspiring author and this blog will take you along on my journey to getting published. I live in Victoria, Australia, in a seaside town where you can walk to the main street and can hear nothing but the waves at night (plus someone's cockatoo 2 or 3 blocks over-which incidentally, I like). Oh, and did I mention I have four children. :-)
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3 Responses to Death by Word Count

  1. Well done! Curious, are you sending the first 50 pages to agents or are there some specific requirements they have? On a positive note, if the story is good and solid, the actual wordcount should not matter so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Each agent has different requirements. Some want 50 pages, some want the first chapter, or the first 3 chapters, or the first 10 pages. And although I would agree that 110,000 words is not an unreasonable word count, I can’t take the risk that it will be rejected purely based on word count. As you probably know, none of the agents give out any reason for a rejection, so unless you’re a mind reader, you just have to make the best guess on what they’ll accept.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Final Read Through | Rohsaan McInnes – Writer

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