How long is a novel?

Ha, I have just worked out something rather fabulous!

I was sitting here revelling in my 21,000 word smugness when I suddenly thought ‘hold on a cotton pickin’ minute, isn’t a novel around 80,000 words?’

I’m no mathematical genius but doesn’t that mean that in the past 6 weeks I have written the equivalent of a quarter of a novel?! (Maybe even half a novel as I wrote way over the word count and spent hours cutting it down).

Hmm, I must investigate…

OK, I have just typed ‘how long is a novel’ into Google and good old Wikipedia came to the rescue. Here’s what it had to say:

“While the length of a novel is to a large extent up to its writer, lengths may also vary by sub-genre; many young adult novels start at a length of about 16,000 words, and a typical mystery novel might be in the 60,000 to 80,000 word range while a thriller could be over 100,000 words.”

So now you know. Write around 60-100,000 words and you are entering novel territory.

I am rather chuffed with this revelation. Let’s gloss over the fact that it wasn’t a work of fiction and there were no actual characters or plot involved. The fact remains that if I can write 21,000+ words in 6 weeks it might be within the realms of possibility for me to write a real-life novel one day. And that rather fabulous fact makes me very, very happy.

7 thoughts on “How long is a novel?”

  1. I have around 32,305 words to go and what with my serious condition of editoritus, that is probably a conservative estimate. Well done, keep going (you are allowed smug but only for today)

    P.S: Is the bird an illustration from the same artist who used to do Roald Dahl? – Think the name is Quentin Blake?


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