Story Lengths – Novel

To conclude this mini-series, today’s entry is on the novel!

To the world at large, this length is quintessential storytelling. For myself, I’ve held to the word count of novels as anything 40,000 words and up. These can also get long, real long! War and Peace, for example, clocks in north of 500,000 words and there are others still that get into million+ words. Now that there isn’t as much of a reliance on print-only circulation for novels these days, more and more novels are coming in at 70,000 words or less.

These epic stories are investments in time, for writers and readers, but contain plot and character complexity that no other medium can achieve. You’ll enter different points of view, different perspectives, and have intersecting sub-plots throughout, all feeding overarching themes.

One I’ve been reading recently is American Gods by Neil Gaiman and its incredible how much detail is poured in. I’ve also recently found it worthwhile to invest in audiobooks (unabridged when available) so that I can listen along to and from work. It’ll take weeks to get through as they can be 20 hours or more but a good narrator will keep me hooked throughout. One I highly recommend in this format is World War Z for its interview-style layout and different voice actors used throughout.

when I was younger, I wrote 2 novels but they still sit unpublished on a shelf somewhere. Now, I have a really fun tale that focuses on a family receiving an undeserved miracle which would be best told in a novel format. We’ll see how long it takes to get even a first draft complete!

Keep turning the page,


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