Recently someone asked me about how many words I tend to aim for when I’m writing a novel. Generally speaking, I tend to aim for 80,000 words as a good benchmark, which works out at about 330 or so pages in a 5.5 x 8.5 paperback book.

There are so many different opinions about how long an adult fiction novel should be, particularly depending on what genre you write. I’ve heard that speculative fiction should be on the longer side – up to 120,000 words, though around 100k is a good aim, especially if it’s a debut.

Of course, if you’re a children’s author or write YA fiction, your books can be on the shorter side: I’ve heard that between 40-80,000 words is a good length, with a 60k word count a decent goal to aim for.

As for my own books, my debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road, was 102,000 words. My second novel, The Buddha’s Bone, was 90,000 words. My forthcoming third book, The Blue Man, is the shortest of the three at around 81,000 words.

What about for any budding Indie writers out there? As a general rule, I’d say aim to write above 40,000 words as that is the baseline for what constitutes a novel. In a KDP paperback of their smallest template size (5 x 8 inches) this would work out at maybe 180 printed pages.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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