How Many Words In A Novel?

The question “How many words make a novel?” is one all aspiring writers have Googled, wanting to know if they’ve written enough yet for what they’re writing to qualify as a novel. When you do that, you get 846 Million search results!

It’s a question that was recently explored over at Dave Chesson’s Kindlepreneur site (one of my fave writing resources) and I’ll link the article below, along with some others from that first page of search results.

So. Jordan Lyons did some research on the current Top 100 Best Sellers in different genres on Amazon, who sell more books than anyone else. The theory being that the books that readers are actually buying right now can be a better indicator of how long yours should be, rather than what the Received Wisdom says. And here’s the Headline:

When you average out the results across all genres, it turns out that the average length for a novel that’s selling right now is, wait for it…

94,000 words.

That’s how many words are in “a novel”.

So here’s the question, where is your Word Count at right now? How close is it to that 94,000 average?

As of today, the word count for My First Novel is sitting at 51,594.

Which doesn’t automatically mean that it’s too short, simply that it contains less words than the average novel across all categories.

Which doesn’t mean that you should artificially bump up your word count to hit the target average. When you feel you’ve told your story as economically as you can, without any superfluous wordage, then your story is told and your novel is ready for its potential readership to pass judgement on whether it’s worth reading or not.

Which is what mine is, ready to go. Whether it’s 54% of the average length of “a novel” or not.

To return to that 94,000 word average, applying what we learned in the previous post about Speaking versus Typing:

The Average Speaking Speed is round about 160 Words Per Minute. Which means if you sit down and talk for an hour you can get 9,600 words out of your head and onto the page. Which means an average length novel will take you 9.8 hours to dictate.

The Average Typing Speed is round about 40 Words Per Minute. So if you sit down and write for an hour straight you can get 2,400 words out of your head and onto the page. Which means an average length novel will take you 39.1 hours to type.

So if you’re writing An Average Length Novel, it will take you just over ten hours to speak and just over forty hours to type. [And that’s before you start editing…] Which I think is even more compelling evidence of the productivity value of Speaking over Typing…

 

NEXT: The Writing Adventure continues with… MY FIRST NOVEL!

 

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT THE WRITE PRACTICE

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT CAREER AUTHORS

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT THE WRITE LIFE

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT JERICHO WRITERS

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT SELF PUBLISHING SCHOOL

LINK TO ARTICLE:

HOW MANY WORDS IN A NOVEL AT KINDLEPRENEUR

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