You are here:

Writing Books/Length & Content


im having trouble with the length of my stories, i have been suggested to add more description, but if i do this how do i stop it from becoming boring? Also do you have any tips for if i come to a dry spot with the plot, an tips for inspiration?

Length i irrelevant. Why bother worrying about "length" such as word count, pages, etc.?

Stories vary from 500 words to 2000 words.

Some magazine publishers have even higher word count.

Then there is what is called a "novella" which is actually a long story but too short to be a "novel."

Stop fretting about the "length" and concentrate on the plot and story, characters, consistency, ebbs and flows, the drama, the beginning, middle and end- the climax. Characters have to have subplots a long the way in the plot. These are simple problems and situations they have that the character has to react to, resolve, and live through (or die) and all simple character development and evolution.

There are so many levels to know and address in a story, novella, or novel.

Worry about the characters evolving and let them write the story-- it might be different than you originally planned- but that IS how all stories, novellas, and novels are written-- not by the author, but by the characters.

We always have a story-novel idea. Then we create characters. The characters develop and evolve, coming alive. Then they end up writing it for you and it never, ever, ever, goes the original way you planned. That is a good thing.

Then you KNOW that your characters are real and alive.

Do not add "description" and irrelevant sentences and paragraphs.

In good writing and editing, you cut and delete the parts that do not add to the story or advance it. It's called "junk."

Don't make the mistake of adding junk for the sake of length. Both are entirely irrelevant and amateurish.

Concentrate on your characters and subplots and plot and see where the ending leads. Most stories-novellas-novels have many different endings to choose from and then that's when YOU step in and take over, choosing the ending YOU want. It could lead to a series even.

The "dry spot" in a plot is a writers block actually. You aren't being creative and organized. If you had outlined your story in advance, you would write working off it, or the characters would take over and surprise you.

If you are in a pickle-- walk away. Leave it. Go do something else, even if it means cleaning house or washing the car. You will soon discover that once it's off your mind, the story will represent itself out of the blue, maybe in your sleep via dreaming (even dreams we don't remember are instilled and on a subconscious level)or pop in your head triggered by a visual or audio you've experienced.

Then you can go back and write.

I wrote a simple, humorous article about writers block. If you'd like to read it, and any of my own personal work, you may visit my author website: and the article is at (on the main menu it's "For Writers")

My site might help you some. Check out the "Books" on the menu or go to and there are two to select from. Each one is only twenty chapters or so, and incomplete.

I hope this helps and good luck.  

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

Past/Present Clients
I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

©2017 All rights reserved.