Do Word Counts Matter?
The short answer to this is a resounding YES! Unless you are JK Rowling or Stephen King then you can do whatever the heck you want! This video was inspired by a MG/YA session I attended at the 2015 Midwest Writers' Workshop (faculty: MG author Heidi Schulz). Word counts matter, especially in regard to traditionally being published, because in the very first line/paragraph of your pitch or query you state your title, genre, and word count. If you are writing a 250,000 word middle grade realistic fiction novel you may be overlooked because you're way over the word count recommendations for that level! Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules, but I found some guidelines from: http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html. In this video, I only focus on realistic and fantasy for MG and YA, but this website covers several categories. Also, according to the May/June issue of Writer's Digest, short is the new long, so check out www.100wordstory.org for a different kind of word count challenge.