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Hugh Howey

Great article. I'm 65,000 words into my second book. My first one was 96,000 words long.

I remember when it felt impossible to write a single story that was comprised of so many sentences, but once you get in the flow, you start appreciated the opposite problem. Will 125,000 words be enough?!

Hugh Howey

Also, to back Laura up, I wrote my first rough draft in seven days. It had 80,000 words in it (which expanded to 96,000 during the first edit process). Overall, the book took around 100 hours to produce.


I m currently writing a narrative fiction book, and I am about 19,200 words in. Would a publisher be more likely to accept it if it were longer or shorter?



At about 20,000 words, you've got a novella...not a novel. A publisher would expect 60,000 words for a novel in most genres. Maybe 20,000-40,000 for a young-adult novel.


I'm currently writing a story (approximately 20,000 w0rds) documenting my own personal experiences as a migrant worker in the middle east. I have included labor injustice, love crimes, homosexuality and broken homes in my story the way I witnessed them. Do you think Reader's Digest will give it a try?

Jason Nieto

I have always thought about writing a novel, as my mind can be very graphic, but I never had the courage. Almost exactly one year ago today I began working on my first novel-it was my first attempt at writing anything really. I now have a 132000 word manuscript that I have edited twice now, and I am currently having some close friends read it. While I am anxious to get their feedback, they are not professionals. Do Agents tend to help you with the editing process, or should I hire an editor before sending it off to an agent? I have also heard that many publishers won't even look at your manuscript if it is over a certain length. As it was I had to hurry the ending a bit more than I had wanted to since I didn't quite have enough material for a full blown sequal, but it was already past the 130,000 mark. If givin the freedom I am sure it would have ended up somewhere in the neighborhood of 160,000. For those of you that have been published; is there any truth to this, or would I be better off extending the ending a bit?


i wrote a book that will be over 250,000 words when it can be cut off from the rest of what I have written. what would you say that is? Someone told me it was psycotic but Im interested in what it really is.

Crawford Kilian

Depending on the genre, Essie, you could have a single novel, a novel + sequel, or a trilogy.


I am writing my first novel. I started about three weeks ago and I am over 50000 words into it. I am about one third of the way through the story. I was wondering if you thought that it sounded like I was on track or lagging behind. I only get to write late at night after the kids go to bed so I don't get to put as much time into it as I would like to.
So far it seems to be flowing pretty well and I am starting to get worried that I might not get it all into one book. Is that a coomon fear?


My daughter, has been working on writing a book and we are unsure what the lengh of this book should be, i have read all the q&a you have here, but am still confussed, so far she has 76,543 words and she is still writing.

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