Average book length

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by littlesister, 22 Jul 2017.

  1. littlesister

    littlesister New Member

    I'm new to the book writing scene and I was wondering if there are any rules as to the length of certain types of writing, i.e., short stories vs. novels?
  2. Tregaron

    Tregaron Member

    I think that question would do better in the Writer's Room than here. As far as I was aware the main four classes levels are:

    Short story under 7,500
    Novelette - 7,500 to 17,499
    Novella - 17,500 to 40,000
    Novel - 40,000 words and over.
  3. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    So do I.
  4. Terry

    Terry Member

    Nowadays - it doesn't seem to be classed as a novel unless it's 100,000 words long. Or at least that is what it seems to be.
  5. Demi

    Demi Member

    All novels vary in length, though usually genres fall in a certain word count rage. I've also notice that some authors have the same word count across most of their novels. So it really depends on how you want to it to be. You also have to be aware of whether you want it to be considered a novel, novella, or anything in between.
  6. Thank you for sharing Tregaron! I always thought novellas and novelettes were the same, but I see I was wrong. Do these standard word counts apply to both fiction and non-fiction?
  7. Tregaron

    Tregaron Member

    That is taken directly from the SFWA, so it comes from Science Fiction, but their guidelines were based on figures from general publishing and several other writers groups use the same classification. In the UK, the books got longer with both the death of the Net Book Agreement and the growth of ebooks which meant paper and printing costs were no longer a concern. Bookangel added "Epic" for books of 300,000 words and over and there are a fair few of those on the site.
  8. I write novels in the young adult category and my agent won't look at anything under 70K. In my middle-grade novels, I strike for 35-45K. So there is a difference depending on which category of fiction you write in.
  9. Donna

    Donna Member

    When writing for a specific age group you need to consider attention span. Middle- grade and young adult are very close in age but middle grade attention span is usually not as long. That is when all the hormones kick in and they can barely get through their text books let alone a 70K word novel. Some will but not all.

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