Google “how many words must a novel be” and the answer comes up straight away:
That is according to writersandartists.co.uk. Writersdigest.com suggests that any adult novel under 70,000 words is too short while 110,000 words is too long. Hubpages.com states that a novel cannot be any shorter than 40,000 words. This information is very valuable, especially to those who are anticipating in National Novel Writing Month or #NaNoWriMo.
If you search #NaNoWriMo you are bound to see a Tweet or 2 with people posting their daily word count. From a poor 1,000 words of horrible writing to an impressive 10,000 words with no food, plenty of coffee and little sleep!
The idea of writing a novel in one month seems too constricting to me. Creativity is not ketchup that must be slapped out of a bottle! It should flow from you, slowly and smoothly, like a tasty pint of beer that trickles from a tap in no rush.
I can, however, understand the challenge of #NaNoWriMo but giving a novel a word count just baffles me! Check out this website which gives the word count of famous novels http://commonplacebook.com/culture/literature/books/word-count-for-famous-novels/
All the classics under 70,000 words!! Lord of the Flies, Mrs Dalloway, All Quiet On The Western Front, Slaughterhouse Five, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, The Fault In Our Stars!
The reason why I started this blog is because I am writing a novel which I know will not get close to 70,000 words, yet I consider it a novel. It features sub plots, large, social ideas and I call it a novel because novels are easier to sell to people.
People turn off when they hear novella or novelette (although I do prefer the look and sound of those two words over novel. They just sound poetic).
Maybe we should not let rules and restrictions guide us in our writing. Whether that means refusing to write a novel in just a month or keeping to your own word count, just do what feels right when you write. Adapting a story to fit the right slot can hurt it, from unnecessary chapters to over-long descriptions.
If it is meant to be, someone will find your story, no matter what shape or size and enjoy it as it is. If not, think of that novel as practise.
Those taking part in National Novel Writing Month, good luck #amwriting.
Thanks for reading,