"The Bruja" is 288 pages long in its final interior formatting.
Is that long enough?
I struggle with that concept. There seems to be a trend in literature that suggests "bigger is better," where authors are genuinely attempting to pack their covers with as many words as possible.
I'm not going to err against that. I think, ultimately, your book needs to be as long as the story you're telling. Tailoring aspects of your narrative to a matter of size is a dark road to start down. If you're a green author with dreams of George R. R. Martin in your mind, you may want to slow your roll. Martin defies a lot of sound lit teachings, and he writes ponderous thousand-page tomes. He's also been at this artform since 1970, so he's bringing a more robust skillset to the game. He built his talent from the ground up, just like you will. Don't compare yourself to Martin, frankly, don't compare yourself to other published authors. They came to the art down a different road than you.
That's my struggle. Are 288 pages enough? I ask that question because I'm forgetting my own rule, don't compare yourself to other published authors.
I wrote "The Bruja" at a 288-page count because I wanted a sharp, fast, narrative. I wanted a story that moved, and pulled the reader along with it. I wanted to tell a road trip story that was more trip and less road. I wanted you, the reader, to feel a sense of anxiety. Maggi Lopez knows she's against a ticking clock, and you need to be right there with her; turning the pages, licking your lips, and swallowing hard as you barrel toward the final act and the end of Maggi's story.
The moral of this story? Yes, Virgina; 288 pages is plenty long enough.