I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front for the last couple of weeks, but there’s a good reason. I’ve been working on a short story; a tale that began life as One Night In England back in October of 2014. Today I finished it. I call it a short story but in actual fact it’s the longest thing I’ve ever written, at 27,000 words. I also say I finished it, but I feel the ending is a little truncated and that a redraft is in order before I even let some willing volunteers take a peek at it. Nevertheless, I’m chuffed. I’ve completed a coherent piece of writing that has exceeded the length of anything I’ve written before. Because novel word counts are important.
At 27,000 words, I feel that my story is in embedded in a no-man’s land of categorisation. It’s not a novel, but I feel like it’s a little more than a short story. A novella, then? Where does one class end and another begin?
A quick scan through the top Google results on the subject shows varying results, but it seems for typical adult novels word counts are somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 words: huge in comparison to my miniature tale. But heartening, in a way – writing my novella has taught me a few things, and one of them is how many words go into describing an event or period of time. The whole story is housed within a twenty four hour day with room to spare; the events of a single afternoon and the following evening in this case adding up to somewhere between a quarter and a third of an adult novel’s length.
Of course, this isn’t a rule of word counts – it just so happens that there was enough going on in my story that it added up to what it does. Some of it may not even make the final cut.Read More