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24

To produce something no more nor less publishable than some bestsellers bare minimum would be about a year broken down like this: Two Months: First Draft (taken as 2xNaNoWriMo some people do produce 100k+ in this month but 50k is generally thought to be achievable) Two Months: Cool down time. Maybe first draft a completely separate project. Three Months: ...


15

I've seen a lot of discussion about this in a couple of different writer's forums I belong to, and I made a point of writing down a consensus that many of them seemed to reach. While the actual word counts will vary and everybody will have different opinions on what the count should be, this should help to serve as a general guide. Short story - under ...


11

Using lots of very short chapters creates an impression in the reader of very rapid pace and lots of movement. For some genres (such as Patterson's thrillers), this accelerated pace is exactly the effect that you want. Having long chapters creates the opposite effect: it slows the pace down and gives the author time to expand more fully a given section or ...


10

It's hard to say; length is usually measured by word count and not page count or thickness. Layout and font choice can change the number of pages a book has without changing the length of it. That being said, I believe 50,000 words is still the minimum to scratch by as a novel, though most run between 75k and 100k words of late, though it used to be ...


9

If your story is complete, then leave it as a novella. Focus on telling your story and getting it cleaned up and finalized. Don't worry about the length. If you need to add some scenes to help make the story more complete, then do so, but don't add them just to try to force the story into becoming something larger than it needs to be. I have seen a very ...


7

The standard way of calculating word count, aside from simply using the "word count" feature of your word processor, is to format your document in standard submission format and then multiply the number of pages by 250. This is the technique that was used back in the days before computers could instantaneously count the number of words in a document. It also ...


7

After about fifteen minutes research, I couldn't find an authoritative answer for this. I suspect there's a good reason for this, however: At counts in the tens of thousands, the answer doesn't make much difference. For example, you have a 50,000 word book (by raw body text count). Let's say the work has 100 headings, averaging 6 words each. Even ...


7

This is kinda obvious but it does definitely affect breaking up the story, so I think it deserves emphasis. Being a recent graduate from the Young Adult market, I strongly recommend that you divide it in such a way that each standalone book ends on some kind of incredibly surprising cliffhanger, or an ending that has the reader ferociously needing to know ...


7

Another way of asking the question might be: how much should I aim to write every day? I think 1000 words a day is a good number. Here's why: It works even if you're not a full-time writer -- even if you're writing in the morning or evenings. It's consistent w/ some of the other data points above. At 1000 words a day, you'll finish a first draft of a ...


7

If you want the minimum practical time for publishable fiction, Lester Dent (who wrote most of the Doc Savage books) is likely the best example. He wrote 159 short novels over 16 years. Figure probably about 50K words per novel, and he was typically publishing twelve Doc Savages a year. The Master Fiction Plot page credits him with over 200K words a ...


6

How long it takes you to produce 100K words depends greatly on how quickly you write, how much time you have for writing, and what level of polish you want your words to be at. For first drafts, most writers can produce 100K words in 3-6 months, depending on the amount of time per day allotted. The truly fanatical (like those 2xNaNoWriMo maniacs mentioned ...


6

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America gives these ranges: Short story: Fewer than 7500 words. Novelette: 7500 to 17499 words. Novella: 17500 to 39999 words. Novel: 40000 or more words. Note that these are defined in terms of word count, not page count. The number of pages depends greatly on formatting, so is imprecise as measure of story ...


5

A quick look at Baen and I found their Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Preferred length: 100,000 - 130,000 words Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.


4

I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but it's at least one data point (though not about a novel). I've written a popular science book that will be published later this year. Once I got a response to my query letter, I started writing. These were the milestones: The proposal submission included three chapters, 18,000 words, written in 3 months. (This was ...


3

Since this is your first draft, it is no where near perfect. Put it away for at least a month. When you come back to it, you will see everything in a new light. My first book was only 30,000 words. When I came back to it, my reaction was "Who the $%& wrote this?" :) The scenes seemed to jump, characters were in a hurry to say their lines and leave, ...


3

You can set a page size in Word. Don't use 8.5 x 11, use whatever the real, final page size will be. Also set the correct margins. If you're self-publishing and producing your own master, you can produce the PDF or whatever format directly from this and you'll know exactly what will be on every page. But even in general, it will at least give you a rough ...


3

Get someone else to read the story and point out the sections that would require more fleshing out. As the author your perception of the text is tainted with the imagination of the scene. Things that appear obvious to you may be entirely unclear for the reader. The talent to forget what you know and read the story you wrote as if you'd have read it the first ...


3

Focus on the effect you are trying to create in the reader. Maybe the most important of those is the emotional impact you are trying to create. Then: Choose the details that help to create that emotional impact. What details would help us to understand the character better? To understand what the character wants, and why it's so important to them? To ...


3

I'm writing a book at the moment which is a Sci-fi fantasy type. I've written around 20,000 words in a month. (I started July once I got my summer holidays.) Some days I write 7 pages, other days I write half a page. Normally, I like to write a little everyday so I won't fall behind or completely forget my story line and characters. Have a notebook so you ...


3

Technically, 50k and up is a novel, but in most genres for adults, 80k is the minimum. Novellas (20k-50k) tend to be very hard to sell because there aren't many markets that even look at them--they're too short to be books and too long to fit in a magazine. However, with ebooks, length restrictions are being relaxed by some publishers, and novellas can be ...


3

Word counts offered by publishers are guide lines. Enough -good words- to tell the story and keep the attention of the audience. Some folks want to pronounce some magic word count/page count and will will bemoan my answer as wrong. So it goes. How many manuscript pages/word count are in Joyce's Ulysses? Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? Pynchon's Crying of ...


2

It depends on the genre or audience, I believe. I've seen lists all over the place. Googling will give you some answers. I've seen 80-110,000 for an adult novel, but sci-fi, for example, often goes longer. Young adult will be less, children's even less.


2

No there isn't. If you are contributing stories to a magazine, paper or a collection of short stories the editor might have an upper limit and you can ask him or her about it. If you are writing a novel, there is no preset limit. Most classics we read today were originally published in bits on newspapers of those days. You can follow one JKR did with Harry ...


2

I have faced the same problem. Going to professional editors/critique groups didn't help, as they all want you to rewrite the story as they would. Which is why you get scenes that spend a whole paragraph describing what the character wears. Here's what worked for me. Imagine you are standing in the scene in your novel. Describe the scene as your main ...


1

I just looked through my non-fiction book contract from an academic publisher, and it says "approximately 70,000 words in length" and then says in parentheses that this would make for a 280 page book. The only other relevant detail was that the publisher would handle the index (they did the table of contents as well), which means that AncientToaster's answer ...


1

It's almost impossible to be able to calculate this without knowing the final format the printed work will be in. There are a huge number of variables that will all have an impact on the length of the text - The font chosen, the type size, the linefeed (font leading), the paragraph spacing, the hyphenation settings, whether the text is justified or ...


1

If you are using Word to create your manuscript, then you can use Word Count to find its length and work from there. I would expect typical text (whatever that is) set in 12 point Times New Roman to contain approximately 600 words (4000 characters) per page. So a 400 page manuscript would be about 240,000 words. That will be a big book! The Historian by ...


1

should be a short since I haven't written a lot of stories Forget about that. Making stuff up about word count has no use, except someone pays you for a 1000 word article or a 60.000 words novel. Then you have to meet their criteria. Otherwise just write and count the words after you've finished your story. I have no clue what your second question is ...


1

The point is moot. You will get to however many pages you want in the right amount of time for your story. Here's how: Write your story from the beginning to the end. Whatever you have of the story, write that down. It will start with ideas or scenes or characters, but just keep adding to it until there's the story. Think about what you've written, and ...


1

The Tomorrow When the War Began series is probably very similar to what you are describing. It's seven (brilliant) novels, following one major story arc. What the author, John Marsden, did was to give each story its own resolution, but still leave the reader wanting to know more. This was usually done by leaving something about a character unanswered, so ...



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