One ‘beauty’ of the YA genre?

Word count.

Not sure what that means?

Word count refers to the number of words in a novel.

Under my adult pen name, I write 80,000 – 100,000 words in per novel. For my YA stories, I shoot for 70,000- 80,000.

No matter the story, I know I’ll cut 5-10% of my words through my multiple editing passes. Since I almost always hit the high end of my ranges, a YA genre novel saves me 20,000 words of writing, right from the beginning.

It’s not about being short and sweet or that YA requires the lesser number of words. It’s just a general guideline. By having that point of reference, I can actually structure my story to fit to the number.

I know loads of people don’t can’t write with this kind of constraint. Their muses won’t let them. They must write to the story, no matter how many words it is. I get that. Completely. But for me, the word count ‘cap’ lets me push my story faster, harder and specifically through.

If my muse and I are talking, those caps are perfect.

I ended First Kisses at 80,427 words at first draft. When the 2nd draft is done I expect to be closer to 75,xxx words. All still right in the word count range I’d initially planned for.

Might be a funny goal, but for me, it’s the perfect ‘rule’ to write to … even though I know I could, very easily, go over the numbers, my stories fit right into their respective word counts with little to no problem.

So with YA being less of a word count, I reach ‘the end’ even faster, and can get to the next story sooner.

Maybe that’s a bit of a cheat, but it was SO much fun writing First Kiss(es) and reaching ‘the end’ so fast made me want to start a second story right then (though my muse was NOT speaking to me) so I had to wait.

And now a trilogy, that starts with After Dark, has been born.

Oh and just to throw in a teaser… come back next Wednesday when I reveal the name-ideas for the other two books in that trilogy. 😉