Mrs Bung’s Guide To Word Counts – 14+ ( that’s not the guide, that’s the target age)

I am fast approaching the end of the final edit of my current manuscript which, obviously, is turning me into a gibbering wreck.

Is it too mad? Have I moved too much towards humour and too far from the original dark idea? Can I really keep chopping all these words out and still have a book?

And there it is.

The WORD COUNT issue.

It was 60,000 words. Then it was 56,000 words. Now I’m at  55,000  and dropping. Panic is setting in. So it’s time for one of these – a Word Count Blog, where I can justify poring over the word counts of other books and comparing them to mine. Want to play?

There is No Dog – Meg Rossoff – 56118

The Knife That Killed Me- Anthony Mcgowan – 45422

Almost True – Keren David – 94254

1984 – George Orwell – 88942

The Amber Spy Glass – Phillip Pillman – 156664

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison – 41958

Before I Die – Jenny Downham – 69548

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – 155960

The Selfish Giant – Oscar Wilde – 1642

Withering Tights – Louise Rennison 55170

My extensive research reveals that as long as I hit the narrow window between 1642 and 156664 words, I should be fine.

Fun isn’t it?  Now go on, ask me another.

PS Here’s some I prepared earlier: https://mrsbung.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/word-counts/

4 Comments Add yours

  1. How do you get those word counts? Is there some app out there that does it? I struggle somewhere between 48k and 70k with my novels. But sometimes there are just exactly a number of words to tell a story. No padding allowed!

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      There is!http://www.arbookfind.co.uk/default.aspx
      My secret is out ;o)

  2. You shouldn’t be worried about the number of words, it’s more about the content. You should be proud to have written something. Well done!

  3. There was another site that also used to offer word counts on books, but given the addled state of my brain, I can’t remember what it is!
    As for number of words – I’ve variously been told by “them wot know” (ie publishers and agents) that for a YA, 70 000 is too long and 50 000 is too short. I guess though, the “wow” book will always be acceptable irrespective of slightly too few or slighty too many words…

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