1. MJLowson
    Offline

    MJLowson Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    How Long are your novels?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MJLowson, May 24, 2011.

    Hi everyone,

    just wanted to know how long are the stories that people usually write on here?



    Whats the shortest story you've written?

    Whats the longest story you've ever written?

    On average, how long are your stories?


    I've written a couple of 500 word shorts, that was at school though, when I do storytelling with the class I usually write a 500 word story, like you do when your a kid, beginning, middle, end

    The only novel - feature length story I wrote was around 17,000 words long, doesnt seem like much compared to the one I'm writing at the moment which is 7,500 words through and around a quarter of the way through.
     
  2. Jessica_312
    Offline

    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Florida
    The novel I just finished is around 90K words - this is by far the longest story I've written. Before this one, I've mainly just written short stories, or unfinished novels LOL
     
  3. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    First novel - 144,000 words
    Second novel - 87,000 words
    Third novel - 78,000 words
    Fourth novel - 89,000 words (still tweaking)

    Based on lessons I've learned since writing the first one, when I go back someday to rewrite it, I suspect there will be a LOT more cutting. But then, the first draft if it was 420,000 words! So, I'm making progress.
     
  4. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    My stories usually end up somewhere between 20-40K words. The shortest story I have ever managed to write was about 2K words. One of my few successful attempts at a true short story.

    I'm working on two novels now, about to finish the second draft on one of them and just finished the first draft on the other. The one in the second draft stages is about 80K words, but I'm expecting it to go up about 10K.
    The one I just finished the first draft on is about 60K and will probably stay that way. The first one wasn't completely planned out as I started writing, so it was full of mistakes and plot holes and I had skipped descriptions and sometimes just stopped writing certain scenes if I got bored with them. But with the second one I knew exactly what was going to happen and could just focusing on writing well, so the length will probably not change any.
    Normal novels are about 80K words, but the 60K one is for older children, so it's probably for the best that it doesn't get any longer either.
     
  5. Declan
    Offline

    Declan Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    England
    I usually get to around 5,000 words and then ditch the story, I have so many littered around me. I have so many ideas that I find it hard to focus on just one.

    Techincally it is not regarded a novel until you reach the 45,000-50,000 word mark. Anything below that is seen as a novella, novelette, or a short story- in order of size.
     
  6. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Flank Hawk is 128,000 words. With the minor additions and subtractions while working with my editor, the net loss was about 500 words before it was published.

    I've had short stories published that ranged from 61 words all the way up to 8,700 words. I've found that if a story goes over 5000 words it's harder to place, with 4000 to 5000 being the sweet spot.
     
  7. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    Last fantasy novel was 185,000 words, the short story I put out straight after, 13,000 words, and the novel I'm currently trying to finish, 95,000 so far.

    Cheers.
     
  8. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    The first draft of my only novel is 77,000 words long. For the second draft (which I've only just started), I'll cut about 25,000 to 30,000 words and expand on what's left. I need to ditch a couple of irrelevant subplots and focus on the main story. It will probably finish out at around 80,000 words.

    Most of my stories turn into novelettes or novellas. They work out to between 12,000 and 30,000 words. I've written a few short stories that are around 5,000 words (mostly for writing classes), but I'm not comfortable squeezing things into that small a space. I feel like I'm a Joseph Conrad type of writer - my best stuff, my most natural stuff - is in the middle lengths.
     
  9. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I usually run out of steam around 200,000 if the project isn't going to go anywhere. :p /addressed to people who abandon things early on :p

    It depends on the genre for me. My rambling fantasy epics get past 100,000 easier than breathing simply because there is so much story to tell. The young adult comedy fantasy series all come in between 50,000-75,000 because short and sweet is preferable.
     
  10. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    Of completed stories:

    [you can ignore the dates, they're more to help me distinguish between them]


    01. 2006.10 - 045k. (fantasy)
    02. 2006.11 - 040k. (fantasy)
    03. 2007.01 - 105k. (fantasy)
    04. 2007.11 - 172k. (GLBTQ/YA)
    05. 2008.11 - 057k. (realistic)
    06. 2009.01 - 089k. (psychological horror)
    07. 2009.05 - 065k. (psychological thriller)
    08. 2009.07 - 107k. (political romance)
    09. 2009.08 - 037k. (inspirational romance)
    10. 2009.11 - 083k. (romance suspense)

    Stories 3 and onwards all have GLBTQ romance and/or ero themes.

    My current WIP (started 2010.11/erotica) currently sits at 168,000 words with eight chapters (of fifty) still lift to write.


    My short stories vary.
     
  11. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    my first was 85K but now that im rewriting it it will be longer. the second was 66K (not completed entirely) and the third only 52K.
     
  12. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Shortest - around 600 words. Surprisingly really enjoyed this 'experiment'.

    Longest - working on now, approx 83,000 words at the moment. Never did I think a few years back I could ever do this...

    :)
     
  13. Ashleigh
    Offline

    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    In the comfort of my stubborn little mind.
    I've only completed one novel, and it was a kid's zombie novel at just 62K.

    My shortest short story is about 1.5K, and my longest is about 5-6K I believe.

    Personally, I think the perect short story falls between 2.5K and 3.5K...After that I fear it can get a little stale. Just my opinion, though.
     
  14. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    50 words. That was flash fiction though.

    Unfinished novel but I wrote about 39k I think.

    Usually I write short stories, and they tend to be between 1000 and 3000 words, mostly around the 1500-2000 word count though. Most of my short stories could be expanded and made longer, but I just prefer writing short stories of that length.
     
  15. barnz
    Offline

    barnz Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    My first novel was around 95,000 words, my second was 57,000 but in rewrite that'll go up a bit. my work in progress now is somwhere around 30000 or so, probably will end up around 80 or 90,000. My other stories have gone from flash fiction of around 100-300 words, novellas around 30,000, but typically my short stories are between 2000 and 5000.
     
  16. aimi_aiko
    Offline

    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Well, to avoid thinking too hard remembering my past work, I'll just say that I extend my writing as long as I seem fit for the storyline. I continue writing unless I know that the story is finished. Though the shortest I've ever written anything (regarding class portfolios and projects) have been half a page to a page long.
     
  17. SeverinR
    Offline

    SeverinR Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Madison Ohio
    I'm not the only one?

    I have not officially "ditched" any story I have worked on.

    Shortest story?
    500-1000 words I think.
    longest 80k.

    Mine tend to be on the low side rather then to wordy. But I usually edit more in, then out.
    I write bare bones then go back and put the meat on it.
     
  18. katica
    Offline

    katica Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    11
    Shortest is around 5,000 words.

    Longest is 100K.

    My short stories tend to be around 5,000 - 10,000 words and my novels tend to be 80,000 - 100,000 so far.
     
  19. Infinitytruth
    Offline

    Infinitytruth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    In a house!
    Haven't written one yet. I'm working on it though, and I'm planning on making mine around 50,000 words.
     
  20. demented-tiger
    Offline

    demented-tiger Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    The one I've been working on for almost 10 years: 182,210 words, according to Microsoft word. That does not count material stored in 3 120 sheet, college ruled spiral notebooks (and a forth I am writing right now), edits, and any future re-writes/deletions/insertions I might make to existing texts. A publisher or copy-editor might ask me to cut it into a series if it gets too long; which I think it might.
     
  21. MrNomas
    Offline

    MrNomas Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    When I started writing back in college I think I rarely broke 1.5k words - probably closer to 1000 words. My novella is around 35k words and the sequel is about 110k. I'm working on a short story right now that is 2.6k.
     

Share This Page