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A Question About Scifi/Fantasy Novel Word Length

  1. crashcromwell profile image81
    crashcromwellposted 8 years ago

    Hi everyone!

    I have been working ona novel for the past couple of years. On a few occasions I felt as if I had completed work on it, and began the task of finding a publisher for this book.

    It's a scifi fantasy with strong religious themes, and recently I learned from some published authors that the minimum word length of a fantasy novel is usually 75,000 words. At the time I received that advice, my manuscript was sitting at 58,000 words, so I was seriously on the short side.

    Fortunately, this book is the first in a series of novels I've planned, so to fill in the gaps I started introducing characters and themes that I plan to flesh out more thoroughly in subsequent books in the series.

    After milking this for everything its worth, I'm sitting just a hair over 74,000 words, still short of my goal of 75k. I am sure that when an editor starts editing, it will shrink more. I just wonder if there are any published authors out there who can tell me if I'm worrying too much about word count, or if this is a legitimate concern?

    1. AC Gaughen profile image60
      AC Gaughenposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      This is definitely a legitimate concern!  And 75,000 wds is still remarkably short--it's perfect for a YA novel (a short one at that) 50-75 K is pretty standard for middle grade novels.  80-120K is standard for most novels (roughly 200-300 pages, anything longer is generally an industry pariah).  Check out some great resources like agentquery.com and the writers market for more solid info.

  2. Shadesbreath profile image89
    Shadesbreathposted 8 years ago

    That said, good writing is good writing.  A story should be as long as it takes to tell.  If you are "milking" the story you have, consider writing the next parts instead and making the original submission a larger portion of the series... one submission of two books or three etc.

  3. thranax profile image58
    thranaxposted 8 years ago

    Personally I wouldn't worry about the number of words or pages. If a book with an excellent story can be written in 60 pages its worth keeping it as it is. Don't just add in "snow job" fillers. GL with your book and I wouldn't worry about it, but thats me personally.