Have you ever wondered how many words your books are? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring writer, and you want to know how long a book should be in your genre? Either way, I have some answers and insight!
But each of those categories can be broken down into genre. Some genres (like science fiction and fantasy) are typically much longer, whereas other genres stay very close to the above word counts (like romance and contemporary fiction).
For the sake of simplicity, let’s stick to novels. Let me give you some examples of word counts in some popular categories.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Ready Player One = 136,000 words
Game of Thrones = 284,000 words
Lord of the Rings #1 = 187,000 words (half of those words were used to describe everyone’s signing)
The Notebook = 49,000 words
Paper Towns = 82,000 words
Anna and the French Kiss = 81,000 words
Horror / Thrillers
Gone Girl = 84,000 words
Carrie = 61,000 words
Joyland = 83,000 words
And as a bonus, can you guess the word count for IT? Of course you can’t, because Stephen King is insane.
Stephen King likes to break all the rules. His hit novel, IT, clocks in at 445,000 words.
Hey, it’s only 44 hours and 55 minutes to listen to the audiobook. Jesus Christ, it would take you nearly an entire weekend (no sleep) to listen to this monster. o.o
Long story short–the industry (and readers) have standards based on book category and genre. Typically, the more fantastical or futuristic, the longer you’re allowed to write without the reader getting irritated. Spooky clowns and virtual reality worlds obviously need more words to adequately describe, but be careful you don’t go overboard.
I’m looking at you, Stephen King.