Writing Books/Book length


Dear Susan,

I have been thinking about writing this book for a long time and just decided recently that I should really give it a shot.

The book is non-fiction and it's about a young man that I had fallen in love with when I was 15 years old. He was killed in a tragic accident and I never told him my true feelings for him, we were best friends. This happened 31 years ago and I have dealt with complicated grief and depression since this happened. The book will travel from the last day of school my freshman year of high school, to meeting Jay, Jay's death, moving from Chicago to West Virginia and then my trip back to Chicago to visit Jay's grave on the 31st anniversary of his death.  I will also cover the pain that I have endured as a result of his death, even contemplating suicide.

My question is this.  I am worried that this book is going to be too short.  I have already typed about 20 pages (single spaced and a font size of 12) but I have yet to type about my trip back to Chicago as well as the information on grief.  What would you consider to be too short for a non-fiction book?

I would appreciate any help or advice you can give me.

Thank you,

Ella Price

Hello Ella:

If you will visit your local library or book store you will notice that there are books of all sizes. Don't worry about whether your book will be too short or too long - you haven't even written it yet, how do you know how long it will be? A book should be as long as it takes to tell the story, and no longer. Do try to get as much emotional content in as you can.

If you are still suffering from depression, get some help and add that in for a happy ending.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 1900 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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