Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I am a picture book writer. I write short manuscripts. We try to make the best story with the least amount of words. But, those words have to be the best 500 or so words you can write.
I'm okay with that.
But I have written a middle grade story that I am about ready to submit again (after more revising) and it is currently at 21,500 words.
They say middle grade should be between 25,000 to 45,000 words.
I have started another middle grade story. It is currently at 8000 words. I was hoping to get it to at least 20,000 words, but I do not know if I can do that or not.
There are exceptions and I have seen them. On Renaissance Learning's site you can search for books by title or name and they tell you the word count and interest level (middle grade, lower grades, etc.).
I have found many books with lower word counts ranging from 8000 to 14000 words listed in the middle grade interest level (grades 4-8). Some of these are written by Patricia MacLachlan of Sarah, Plain and Tall and Skylark fame. I love those books.
Another book I love, Because of Winn-Dixie comes in at only 21,000 words.
So, my question to writers out there is do smaller word count books have a chance?
On another subject -
I delivered some of the July issues of Two-Lane Livin' magazine today. I walked into a little diner in town and one of the customers said to me.
"Looks like I have perfect timing. I love those magazines!"
I took one over to him and laid the rest down.
"I know who you are," he said. "You're Janet Smart."
I said, "That's right. How did you know?"
"You write a column in here. You know I like this magazine better than the Jackson Herald."
It is nice when you get to see and talk to the people who read your writing. It makes it a little more satisfying. (By the way, the Jackson Herald is our county's weekly newspaper.)
posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.