Word Count: The Non-Rule Rule — A Writer’s Path

Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

by Samantha Fenton

When people talk about how long the word count of a novel should be, they say, “there really is no rule….” But, then they go off talking about some “guidelines” of the “right length” of a novel.

“There’s really no set rule, but you shouldn’t go below insert word count or above insert word count.”

So here’s my question: How long or short can a novel be?

A lot of writers overwrite, so they spend most of their editing process cutting out scenes and trimming. I have the opposite problem, I underwrite. That means the whole of my editing phase is spend trying to find new subplots to put in and which scenes to expand or show. The problem with both of these issues, is how to know when to stop. When do you stop trimming, when do you stop expanding?

I’ve found this little chart on the…

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