Novel Length And Formats

Writer to Writer

A common question among beginner writers that I asked myself a couple of times is: ‘How long should my novel be? How do I even count? Pages? Words?’ You get the point.

According to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) these are the word categories recognized:

  1. Novel
  2. Novella
  3. Novelette
  4. Short story

But to be perfectly fair, there are some major differences in the novel category. Those vary from publisher to publisher, and from organization to organization. But what does the audience want?

Unsurprisingly, what major publishers, agents and organizations recommend is what I have found to be what readers on writing and reading forums expect as well, with some little differences.

To be even more fair, it all in the end depends on the way you develop your plot, and the quality of your ideas.

But, here are the guidelines to follow.

SFWA Categories


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Author: Grandtrines

Like so many people, I am a paradox. I am a politically conservative vegetarian. I am from a Christian background, and still tend to like those values, but am a metaphysical astrologer trained in science who has an interest in the magic of ancient Egypt and a weird belief that some piece of our essence can live on a server. I live in Texas, but like chatting with my international Wordpress pals the best. I learn by teaching. Technically, I am a "Leo," but I am very, very Aquarian with a dose of Scorpio. I bitterly complain about Algol (and Algol personaliites), yet it is the one star that defines me most (other than Regulus). (Which, oddly, makes me an Algol personality.) I am a reclusive lover of peace and quiet who has the Ascendant in the Via Combusta (the most conflict ridden part of the zodiac). I am an incredibly private person with a blog with over 800 followers and 50 to 150 regular daily visitors. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

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