What is the Perfect Length for a Novel?
If you are about to embark on writing your first novel and you want to get published, there’s no doubt that you are going to have a lot of questions.
There’s one question that all new authors tend to ask: “How long should my novel be?”
On average, a novel should fall somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 words. That’s what authors, literary agents, and publishers consider to be the “sweet spot” for a novel.
Why Is 80,000 to 100,000 Words Ideal?
You have so much to say that you want to write more than 100,000 words, or you don’t have enough to say to fill up 80,000 words, so you can’t help but you have a really great idea. As such, you can’t help but wonder why 80,000 to 100,000 words is considered the “sweet spot” for a novel.
Here’s how that word count boils down:
Most readers expect to pick up a book that is about this length. If your book is significantly shorter, your audience may feel as if they aren’t getting good value for their time and money. On the other hand, if it’s much longer than 100,000 words, your audience may feel as if they won’t have the stamina or even the desire to read it.
Obviously, you want your readers to be satisfied. That’s why you should try to aim for a word count that meets their expectations, will make them satisfied, and won’t bore them or lose their interest.
Remember, It’s Just a Recommendation…
Though the ideal length of a novel is somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 words, it is important to note that these numbers are just a recommendation. You can definitely write a book that has less words or one that has more and still satisfy your audience. In fact, there have been countless books that have been much shorter or way longer than the “sweet spot” and they have been met with critical acclaim and have captivated huge audiences. However, the secret to their success (and to yours) is to make sure that if you make sure you are writing a killer book.
You want to make sure that your readers feel like they’ve gotten great value out of your book, so you definitely want to have a captivating story line, as well as a plot and characters that capture their attention and really make them feel satisfied.
How Long Should I Make My Book?
The bottom line is this: There is no definite answer for how long a novel should be. Every book is different, as is every author. Just remember that you really do want to make sure that you aren’t leaving your readers hanging by making your novel too short, and on the other hand, you don’t want it to be too long unless you can hold the attention of your audience and make them really want to keep turning the pages until they make it to the very end.