Typical YA Novel Length

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juneafternoon

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I know the accepted YA novel length is 40-60k, but is it also acceptable to write 70-90k YA stories?
 
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JK Rowling.

Stephenie Meyer.

Matthew Skelton.

Christopher Paolini.

Okay, lock thread.
 

juneafternoon

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Hmm, yes, sure, but if, for instance, you look at Ginger Clark's Q&A section, you'll see that she says no more than 60k. So I'm asking if anyone here has had success with more than 60k in submissions.

I am well aware of the fact that there are really long YAs published.
 

Carrie R.

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Yes, my book was around 71k when submitted to and signed with an agent and about 72k when I sold. Now it's around 88k and we're not cutting anything so it will be published at that length.

Another friend of mine's YA is expected to be around 100k.
 

Melissa_Marr

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My first novel was abt 70K when I sent it to agents. It was the same length when it went on sub to editors. It grew to 76K in revisions & went to print at that length. The second one is the same length.

Fantasy manuscripts tend to have a slightly higher count (as evinced in some of the authors listed as examples). Contemp/real-world YA skews closer to the lower word count.

Good luck.

M.
 

juneafternoon

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My first novel was abt 70K when I sent it to agents. It was the same length when it went on sub to editors. It grew to 76K in revisions & went to print at that length. The second one is the same length.

Fantasy manuscripts tend to have a slightly higher count (as evinced in some of the authors listed as examples). Contemp/real-world YA skews closer to the lower word count.

Good luck.

M.
I see :) Thanks!

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Mmhm! I can't ever write that short--my story always spins outta control hehe.
 

bethany

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Handcuffs was 55k when I queried. I don't know how long it was when it sold, I do know I added some length working with my editor. It is now a little over 80k. And that's contemporary realistic, not fantasy. Fantasy is often a little longer. ETA just skimmed through the thread to see that I was basically repeating what Melissa said.
 

ishtar'sgate

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Hmm, yes, sure, but if, for instance, you look at Ginger Clark's Q&A section, you'll see that she says no more than 60k. So I'm asking if anyone here has had success with more than 60k in submissions.

I am well aware of the fact that there are really long YAs published.

Yes. When my novel was accepted it was at 93,000 words and specifically purchased for the older YA market. After revisions it was a bit longer.
Linnea
 

eyeblink

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The longest YA novel published recently that I know of is Aidan Chambers's This Is All, which runs to over 800 pages, so very likely over a quarter of a million words.
 

Melissa_Marr

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BTW, welcome Melissa!!!

Thanks, but I joined back in fall 06. I just don't join in conversations very much; I mostly just stop by & read from time to time. (That's why I recognized you when you joined the blueboard recently.)

Recently, the YAYA group lured me out of my lurking a bit b/c they were so much fun in conversation :)
 

OverTheHills&FarAway

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In the end it's about the story.

Good to hear that. My almost-finished YA will probably end up querying near 80k, but with an additional 50 or so comic book pages I've scripted and got an artist working on as we speak. That sounds like a querying nightmare, if you ask me....I just hope the story is enough to carry any potential agents through the doubts. :)
 

Shady Lane

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Thanks, but I joined back in fall 06. I just don't join in conversations very much; I mostly just stop by & read from time to time. (That's why I recognized you when you joined the blueboard recently.)

Recently, the YAYA group lured me out of my lurking a bit b/c they were so much fun in conversation :)

bwahahaha


My mss are typically very short...somewhere between 35 and 50K by the time they're through. No rejections have ever cited the length as a problem. They've cited lots of other problems....;)
 

juneafternoon

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Hahaha, yay good to know! Now, about actually writing the story ...

;)
 

Danthia

When I was doing revisions, my agent said as long as I kept it under 70K we were fine. Larger novels can (and do) sell, but if the agent is on the fence about asking for more, a too-long word count could push them to the no side. Bottom line, if the story NEEDS to be longer then go longer. But if you can keep it in the average range, you might as well.
 

GirlLit

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My YA "chica lit" sold at 73,000 words. My agent said that length wasn't really an issue these days for YA. And when I got my contract from the publisher it said that the deal was for three books of approximately 75,000 words. So I wouldn't stress the word length.
 

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Three examples, all recent:

I've just taken Matt Whyman's Boy Kills Man out of the library. It's definitely YA and I suspect 14+ as well. It's 35,000 words long.

A couple of years back, I read and reviewed the "novel" of the film Kidulthood by Noel Clarke and Jim Eldridge. (Clarke - who played Mickey in Doctor Who - wrote the screenplay and Eldridge wrote the novelisation, but it's only Clarke's name on the front cover.) Definitely older-end YA - it has an "explicit content" warning on the front. It's 116 pages of quite large print. I don't have an authoritative word count, but by my estimate it's *under* 20,000 words.

Joyce Carol Oates's YA novel Sexy is 34,000 words.
 

Butterface

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It's so tricky.

Hmmmm. It's tricky, girl. I've read conflicting numbers too.
 
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