Word Counts and Novelettes

For the last week, I’ve been working on another story.  It’s not my usual fare, since a) it’s original (AKA not a fanfiction :P) and b) it’s one of those contemporary fictions for middle-grade readers about a girl who finds herself, but with a mystery twist.

At this point in this work’s progression, my word count is roughly 7,700 and I have roughly 40 statement-sized pages in my word processor.  The problem is, I’m also fast-approaching the falling action point of the plot.  Isn’t that cutting it a bit too short?

Today, I did a little bit of research on the ideal length of a published book.  According to Lee Masterson, who published an article on this subject here for the Fiction Factor webzine, full-length novels tend to be between 50,000 -110,000 words.  Consistent with what I’ve seen, according to another article on the Fiction Factor site, middle-grade fiction (with the exception of books like Harry Potter or Inkheart) tends to be between 100-150 pages (note that I’m expressing the count in a different unit of measure, pages vs. words).

So yes indeed, my work is too short to be considered a “real” novel.  To make matters worse, it’s also too short to be a novella, which tends to be between 20,000 and 50,000 words.  And don’t you think it’s pretty insulting to call that which I’ve slaved away on for a little over week and have divided into decently-sized chapters a mere short story??? Continue reading →

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