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Writing Books/How many words for first novel?


Hello there,

I have began writing my first novel about a boy being bullied at school. It is very philisophical that's why i chose your name from the list. My question: i have about 40,000 words already, how many words should i be aiming for, do you think, for a small novel? And my other question is i am unsure what age group to aim for?

Many thanks


Dear Mr. Radford:

The answer to your first question is that 50,000 words and over is considered a novel, and under 50,000 words is considered a novella.  Fifty thousand words is a good goal for a first novel in respects to success in marketing the work.

Your second question is not as easy to answer because only you know how your manuscript reads!  I have no way of knowing what grade level you wrote the work to, so, I can't give you an answer.  Sorry!

My best,
Max Roth

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M.L. 'Max' Roth, Executive Editor


My specialist area is literary and philosophical fiction. I am pleased to answer all queries regarding story, plot, character arc and development, environment, structure, theme, subtext, and conflict.


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