Word Count Guide

When I started writing (in a notepad with a leaky biro) I was pretty obsessed with word counts.

How long should my book be?
What's the typical length of a book?
Is this right for my genre?

(Unfortunately, back in the day of the notepad and pen, three hard-hand-written-pages usually accounted to one typed page. I know, extreme bummer.)

So, after scouring the Internet (what else is a hulking monster like me supposed to do while they're holed up in India?), I've compiled a list of the word counts of common books! It might give you a useful guide.


YA Fantasy

Twilight: 118,000 words
Breaking Dawn: 153,000 words
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: 198,000 words
Eragon: 157,000 words
Inkheart: 146,000 words
The Golden Compass: 112,000 words
City of Bones: 130,000 words
Shiver: 94,000 words
A Great and Terrible Beauty: 95,000 words
Tithe: 66,000 words
Wicked Lovely: 73,000 words
The Siege of Macindaw: 79,000 words
Clockwork Prince: 139,000 words
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: 84,000 words


MG Fantasy

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone: 77,000 words
Gregor the Overlander:  55,000 words
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: 87,000 words
Artemis Fowl: 56,000 words
Book of Three: 46,000
Midnight for Charlie Bone: 65,000
The False Prince: 76,000 words


YA Sci-Fi
Matched: 89,000 words
A Wrinkle in Time:  49,000 words
The Selection80,000 words
Cinder87,000 words
Divergent105,000 words
The Giver: 43,000 words
Across the Universe98,000 words
City of Ember: 59,000 words
Delirium: 114,000 words
I Am Number Four: 100,000
The Hunger Games: 99,000
Mockingjay: 100,000 words



YA Contemporary

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: 60,000
Looking For Alaska64,000 words
The Key to the Golden Firebird70,000 words
Sloppy Firsts76,000 words
Anna and the French Kiss81,000 words
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: 62,000 words


MG Contemporary
Bridge to Terabithia: 32,000 words
Ruby Holler: 44,000
Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z: 48,000
Charlotte's Web: 53,000 words


Note: I've sourced these from all over the internet. They may not be exact.
Sourced from: Authorial Intent, Hardcovers and Heroines, Super Opinion8ted, Jennifer Represents, Good Books for Kids, and Melody Valadez.



8 comments:

  1. You astonish me with Tithe as only 66k, but I suppose it isn't all that fat. Still, I would have thought it was longer. My novels tend to average out between 90k and 110k, which looks like a fairly good quantity for YA.

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    1. A lot of these surprised me too, actually! I didn't think Looking for Alaska was that small!

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    2. John Green's first draft of Looking for Alaska was somewhere around between 25K-35K words, I believe.

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  2. I'm sensing a pattern here... I guess that YA contemporary tends to have less words? And that YA fantasy averages to 100k words? Sounds like so many words! Haha. I couldn't imagine myself producing that many, but who knows! With my reviews I could probably reach 500, lol.
    -Marianne

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    1. Up to 200k in some cases (but then, no one should try to average Harry Potter, whether you're a fan or not.) I'd probably be in the 200k camp myself, since I tend to run long and complex when it comes to plots (a bit like Tolkien...) How long is the Hobbit, again? NOT THE MOVIE. The book.

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  3. This is so helpful! I would never have guessed that ALL the YA fantasies were so many words - Harry Potter, sure, but wouldn't have thought Inkheart was that much. Almost double my YA contemp MS's, which I suppose is the trend.

    Great post :)

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  4. I think I just felt unknown stress fall from my shoulders. Brilliant list.

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  5. I think it also partially is determined by what you're trying to do with the book, and where you want to go, not to mention your writing style. :-)

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