Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying your writing this summer. 🙂 Here’s your latest tip, for those of you who write Christian stories for children . . .

Dernier Publishing book pile

I have been asked more than once by new writers for advice on the length of their novel. Well of course there are variations, but here is a very rough guide:

“Easy readers” gradually increase in length, and can be anything from 200 – 2,000 words.
For chapter books for 6-8s (mostly these will have some pictures): 2-12,000 words.
Full-length novels for 8-11s will start at around 18,000 words and go up to around 25,000 words.
Young adult (12+) fiction generally starts at around 35,000 words, with no upper limit.

If you are writing for reluctant readers, or for children with dyslexia or other special needs, you may want your story to be at the shorter end of the scale.

If you are looking to submit your novel to a publisher, you will need to aim to keep your story in the parameters of what that publisher publishes – some prefer shorter novels, some longer. So do a bit of research while you’re still at the planning stage. Even if you’re planning on self-publishing, it’s a good idea to fit in with current trends for length.

Here’s a tip to get an idea on how many words a book contains: count the number of words in ten lines. Divide this by ten, to give a rough average of how many words/line. Multiply that by lines per page, then by how many pages in the book. Take 10-20% off this figure, to take into account ends of paragraphs and chapters . . . and you should end up with a rough figure to work with.

Last tip on this theme: Make Every Word Count. 🙂

If you have found this tip helpful, please do share this post on twitter and with your writer friends on facebook, Google+ and pinterest – together we can make a difference. 🙂

Janet Wilson

Happy Writing!


Should Your Novel Be Shorter or Longer?
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