1. wiggons
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    wiggons Member

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    Book Length

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wiggons, Jun 13, 2009.

    Apologies if i put this in wrong area, but i think it fits.

    How long should a book go for? I know thats a stupid question as books vary from book to book, but whats the minimum? Ive got approx 44k words in mine, and im about 3 quarters of the way through.

    What is the absolute minimum? Does anyone know? I have no idea.......

    Thanks everyone
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is an often asked question.

    Generally a first novel will run between 70,000 and 100,000 words, possibly a little longer for fantasy and science fiction. YA novels are shorter, being a little over half the length of adult novels in word count.

    Can longer or shorter work? Yes. Just increases the already long odds.

    Check for other threads on the forum that will go over this in greater detail.

    Terry
     
  3. wiggons
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    wiggons Member

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    ahh thanks
     
  4. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    I would not worry about length, just tell your story. If it ends up it needs to be longer you can always go back and add stuff.
     
  5. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Someone once told me that a story that's expanded for the sole purpose of meeting some arbitrary word count is likely to be cut-able by at least half. I believe that's probably true.

    Besides that, there are novellas and long short stories, too--not to mention, memoirs and other kinds of "books" that sell better or worse at various lengths. Your best bet is to write (and finish) your story and compare its length to what you find on the bookshelves in the particular genre you hope to publish. Or find an example that contains a word count similar to your own completed story.

    Just in case you don't know how to figure that out, what I do is count the words on a published page of a book that's "like" the kind of book I envision, and then just multiply that number by the number of pages. That'll give a rough idea not only how long that particular book is, you can jot down the name of the publisher who apparently thought that word count was fine.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Novellas are a fairly limited market.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's next to no market for novellas in the us, but they seem to fare better in the uk...

    in the us, most publishers prefer 80-100k for first adult market novels by new, unknown writers... YA can be shorter and fantasy/sci-fi can go a bit longer, but not too far...
     

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