Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 6 months ago

how many words do a novel, a novella and a short story need?

the definitions are defined by the number of the words as far as i know. i know a short story needs 7,500 words - if i am not mistaken. what about a novella? what makes a novella different from a short story? and ultimately, what about a novel? how many words does it need to be "complete" so that the publishers may accept it?

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most of the "official" word counts are not current and do not reflect what actually sells to paying publishers.

    Short stories break into classifications:

    Micro fiction--under one hundred words.

    Flash Fiction--100 to 1,000 words.

    Short short--1,000 to 2,000 words.

    Short story-- 2,000 to 7,500 words--but some publishers go up to 10,000 or even 12,000.

    I write in two genres. In one, the sweet spot for short stories is 3000-4000 words. In the other, it's 4500-6000.

    Novellas are a hard sell in most genres. Typical word counts range from 15,000 to 45,000. IMO, if you can write one that long that's actually pretty good, you can add plot and make it an actual novel.

    It's a rare novel that's as short as 60,000 words, which is usually what publishers call a novel. Most often it breaks down along genre lines.

    YA Fiction: 50,000 - 80,000 words, rarely 90,000--but sometimes as long as 100,000

    Urban Fantasy: 80,000 - 90,000

    Paranormal Romance: 80,000 - 90,000

    Mysteries and Crime Fiction: Cozies 60,000 - 70,000; all others 80,000 - 100,000

    Science fiction and Fantasy: 100,000; Epic Fantasy 120,000 - 130,000

    Mainstream fiction depends on subgenre.Chick Lit 60,000 - 80,000; Literary Fiction up to 120,000 but lately trends to much shorter; Thrillers 90,000 - 100,000; Historical Fiction to 140,000.

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    The need as many as it takes to tell your story.

    The terms you use are just for the size of your tale.

  • David
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I don't even think about it. I just write until I think I've told enough.

  • joedlh
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    The use of your time would be more productive if you spent it on plot and story-telling. Worry about whether it's a novel, short story, or novella when you're done. You can generally get a good idea ahead of time by considering the depth and broadness of your plot.

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