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37

Finish the story. Don't worry about the word count. When it comes time to do revision, rewriting, and editing you can look at ways of possibly splitting it into two or more volumes. Stories need satisfying endings. They're what sells the reader on reading your next book. Sell them short shrift and they won't be back. You will only be able to find the ...


35

If anything, I'd say your book is too short for that age. 3rd grade is 8-years-olds, right? At that age, 25 minutes to read out loud is closer to one chapter of a book they'd be reading. At 8 years old, my favourite books were Sans Famille, White Fang and Narnia (all of it, except for the last book, which my parents decided was inappropriate). King Matt the ...


25

You definitely don't pad. If you are starting with plot, it sounds as though you may not be getting into the characters as much as you might need to. Here's an idea: Take your favorite Crichton book. Write a quick outline (one page) of what happens in the book: Ex: Jurassic Park : My quick outline off the top of my head: Kids go to island, dinosaurs ...


19

The main problem with trying to estimate something like this is that, even if two writers used the same very detailed plot summary to write a novel, they might produce works that aren't close to being the same length, because of the way they write. Some authors are much more "concise" than others; for example, Voltaire's Candide has been described as a 1,...


18

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 10,...


16

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 ...


16

The audiobook for Winnie the Pooh is 2 hrs and 46 minutes (although admittedly it is episodic in nature rather than a single story.) I was first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone around the same age, and it's over 8 hrs. I think you're fine.


15

The standard font that I've seen in my experience has been Times New Roman 12pt with 1.5 spacing. Honestly, there is no way to calculate how many pages your book will be until the publisher does all of their unique formatting and prints the book. Books are printed in all different sizes - some large, some small. Publishers also use different margin sizes- ...


15

Remember your goal: you have set out to tell a story. So tell the story. Forget the wordcount. You feel the story needs more meat, give it more meat. You feel you need to explore more themes, go ahead and explore them. (If you don't know what to write, that's a separate problem - a separate question.) A story should be exactly as long as it needs to be. ...


11

I cheated once: I pulled a book off my shelf and recreated it (in InDesign, but you might be able to do it in Word). Page size, margins (I used a ruler), font, type size, everything. Once I recreated what was on the page, I had a gauge for size. Then I dumped my current work into that, and I had a rough idea of how long my "novel" was.


10

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 ...


10

The software I use, Scrivener, offers "Project Statistics" which list words, characters, and estimates how many paperback pages (and printed pages) the manuscript will generate. Here's a screen shot of the statistics for a project I'm currently working on: You can see that this is a little less than 400 words per page in paperback. But don't forget that ...


10

If it is your first time writing, then I would not recommend starting with a novel, as a video game character advised to me. I'll put the full quote here if you want. Here's Monika's Writing Tip of the Day! Sometimes when I talk to people who are impressed by my writing, they say things like 'I could never do that'. It's really depressing, you ...


9

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 ...


9

I suspect not. Certainly I have never found any proportionality between a line of an outline and so many lines of finished text. A concept or event that you sum up in one line could take ten lines or a thousand lines to fully describe in exposition. Sometimes what seems like one chapter in an outline becomes three in the book, and sometimes what seems like ...


8

This guide to creating a chapbook (PDF) suggests a length of 20 to 30 pages with no more than one poem per page, so roughly 25 shorter poems. If a poem takes more than one page, it would be inappropriate to start the next poem on the same page the previous poem ended, so assuming 12-point font, 8-inch high page, and roughly 1 inch top and bottom margins, one ...


8

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 ...


8

Make it as long as the story demands - worst case scenario is if it's too big, it can be split into parts (e.g. A Song of Ice and Fire). There are numerous examples of series with varying book length. Raymond E Feists Riftwar is a good start - Magician is a substantial book by itself, the following two (Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon) noticeably ...


8

Write the length you need to tell your story. If it turns out to be a short story or a novella, so be it. Instead of taking longer to tell the story, maybe what you need is to tell a story that spans more time. Or one that looks at more points of view. But first, working on improving your writing overall. Take a class. Join a writer's group with ...


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

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 ...


7

I am a discovery writer; and one that completes novels. The key here, I think, is to remember you are discovering the story. If you are in the middle of the second act, then you have discovered half of it. Also, hopefully, you have some notion of how what you have written could plausibly resolve into the finding of her mother; I always keep some kind of ...


6

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 ...


6

Finish the story. Finish it whether it's one book, two, or five. Writing is practice for writing; editing is practice for editing. No effort is wasted. If you have two or three really good books, then when you present book 1 to an agent you can say "book 2/3 is already finished and edited." This means that if the agent likes it, there is/are already sequel(...


6

First, 90K is a very respectable word length for a novel, so make sure you're not just trying to meet an artificial goal when your book is already complete. Personally, I much prefer books lean, and with no extra fat on them. Second, it's hard to give generic advice without knowing where exactly your book might be weak. Your characters might be thinly ...


6

Word count is a useful tool, but to feel compelled to cram an ending in when you are still in full stride with much of the story as yet unrealized is folly. Your story will take as long as it takes and should not end before that. Sometimes, when someone tells me ‘see you when you get here’ I respond ‘and not a moment earlier ’. My book will be a series and,...


6

Length and Writing What are you going to tell? Is it a (maybe short) story that has everything told by now or do you still have 3 acts to tell? Let your tale guide your writing, then use the Red Ink later. If you have told everything: come to an end. Tie up the last strings of the plot, you are done. If you have still a long way to go: go on. Some stories ...


6

Writing typically has two phases: Writing and editing. A lot of writers mess themselves and their work up by trying to prematurely combine the two. Write expansively right now, as much as you need to tell the story, and don't worry about word count at all. Take as much time and as many words as you need. As a writer, your job is to produce as much ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


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