Writing Books/word length



Followup To
Question -

Hope you are doing better. What you said about word length made a lot of sense to me.

Anyway, I am at about 65,000 words and you said it should be 75,000. What should I do-- expand it? I worried that doing so might make things drag.

I would appreciate any comments.
Answer -
It's rare that you'll ever want to add length to a manuscript.  Editing generally consists of shortening a work.  So no, I would not feel compelled to add anything to it, unless you feel there's something missing with your story.  

Maybe you should consider going in the other direction... tighten it up enough to make it a (long) short story.

Follow up: No, I wanted specifically to write a novel Is my word length okay. That is, would the length be acceptable to publishers or cause a problem?


Honestly, it's hard to say.  My gut feeling is most publishers would think it's a bit short for a novel.  90,000 would be more in line with their ideas.

However, what you should do is check out a copy of Writer's Market.  All the publishers in the book will list their preferences, and many of them will include word count preferences.

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.