Novelettes, Novellas and Novels: The Word Count

by Ken

I recalled something about word counts and novels, so I went to look it up. The results kinda surprised me.

Most of the websites that Google gave said that I’d need around 80,000 words to make something count as a novel. Some websites say 50,000 or 70,000 however. I know that people aren’t that strict, but they say that anything under that is a novella. A novella would be around 20,000-50,000 words, while a novelette would be 7500 to 20,000 words. Under that is a short story.

So…time for some math. (Meh)

For my own book, Revolution: Rise of Darkness, I think I’d surpass the requirements for a Novelette. The first three chapters were each around a thousand words, the fourth 1500 words, and the fifth 2600 words. Only one more chapter of a thousand words would give me a so-called novelette.

But, I don’t want to stop at a novelette. So let’s see…a novella would be at least 20,000 words. I already have 10 more chapters planned out, and if each chapter is at least 2000 words from here, I should reach that.

The most satisfying would be to know I’d actually wrote a ‘novel’. Most websites recommend around 80,000 words, but that’s fairly long. If I have 10 more chapters, all with 2000 words and that gives me 20,000 words, I’d need 40 CHAPTERS to get to 80,000. That’s probably too hard, unless some chapters go up right to 4000 words. Then, I can have less chapters. Some websites, however, say 50,000 words would be enough, and that does go up from the novella. 50,000, which would be around 20 or 30 chapters, doesn’t sound too bad. I guess I can get there.