A writer asked me, "How long should a manuscript be?" I likely should have posted about genres and manuscript lengths earlier. Sigh.
Last summer, we had a slew of guest posters on here because I was expecting a baby. Roseanna White covered genres, so I won't repeat genre definitions here. Instead, you can read part one and part two of her genre post to determine what you're writing. (I just noticed part two posted on the day my little guy was born. Ah, memories.)
How long your manuscript should be will be determined by your genre. And sometimes your target publisher. Like if you're writing for Summerside Press' Love Finds You line, your manuscript needs to be 80,000 words. Barbour's Heartsong line is 55,000.
But if you don't have a targeted publisher, how do you decide?
If it's your first novel, I'd keep it under 100k. There are exceptions, I know there are, but I hear editors say they prefer to see debut novels under 100k.
If it's a YA novel, it should be at least 55k. If it's for adults, at least 75k ... but probably closer to 80 is safer.
But what about when you're writing your first draft? What should you shoot for? If you're like me - a bare bones writer - I always aim to come in 5k to 10k short of my word goal. Because I know I'll be beefing it up. Like we've talked about before, some writers are putter-inners, others are taker-outers.
I hope this helps. Have a wonderful weekend everybody! Be back here on Monday for a new writing prompt!