Lesson 4 of 12
In Progress

How Many Words Should I Write?

There is no simple answer to this. Most published contemporary novels are anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 long. For some genres, like epic fantasy, 120k+ is not unusual. A lot of contemporary literary fiction can be very short, around 50k.

For the purposes of most literary prizes, 40,000 or more is sufficient to call the work a novel. Remember that there is no “official” word count per story-type or genre - just averages which can act as useful benchmarks.

Here’s a quick reference guide:

Epic (or Sage)

110,000 or more

Novel

40,000  or more

Novella

17,500 to 39,999

Novelette

7,500 to 17,499

Short Story

under 7,500

The average adult novel is typically around 73,000 words.

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