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How many words should there be in a novel?

  1. Charles James profile image79
    Charles Jamesposted 6 years ago

    How many words should there be in a novel?

    I am 8,000 words into a novel, and look to top out around 60,000 I think. Is this too long, too short or what? I am thinking of going down the trad publisher route.

  2. Richard Craig profile image77
    Richard Craigposted 6 years ago

    I wouldn't necessarily say that there should be 'X' amount of words.  Quality is more important if your looking for success.  A lesson I learnt was that writing more for the sake of it damages the overall quality.  Stick to your guns and finish when you feel it's finished.

  3. MickS profile image73
    MickSposted 6 years ago

    As many as it takes, not one more.  If it's a shopping and f*****g, the story goes that it should be about 120k, SF/Fantasy about 80k, often in trilogies of about 80k each.  Mills and Boon Romance about 60k.

  4. Deni Edwards profile image84
    Deni Edwardsposted 6 years ago

    I would have to agree with Richard.  Let your fingers and your mind go.  When it ends, it ends.

  5. profile image0
    SJmorningsun25posted 6 years ago

    There's nothing wrong with 60k! The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) program asks participants to write novels of 50k words--so 60k is well over that. My first novel topped out at about 58k, and felt plenty long enough.

    Above all, though, it should be as long as it "needs" to be! Don't give yourself too many rules.

  6. duffsmom profile image61
    duffsmomposted 6 years ago

    75,000 words is a short novel and is about 185 pages.  Average novel length is 150,000.  I am embarrassed to admit that I know this because I actually did word counts on novels when I had the same question. :-)

  7. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 6 years ago

    Like others have said, 50-60,000 words is a novel by most definitions. The real question you should maybe ask yourself is what the guidelines are for the publishers and literary agents that you may want to submit to. Some require 80,000 words, for example. Others will even consider novellas in the range of 30,000 words.

  8. Charles James profile image79
    Charles Jamesposted 6 years ago

    Thankyou everyone for this information.
    I will see how long it turns out and then decide in consultation with a literary agent whether it needs trimming.

  9. RobberMagazine profile image61
    RobberMagazineposted 6 years ago

    literary agent will not be considered novel less than 80,000