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    This is a very informative page about the different lengths of stories and what they classify as.

    So—talk about story length in this thread. If you set out to just write without any real plan, do you have a length you always seem to reach? Do you write too much or too little?

    For my part, I always seem to fall into the hardest category to sell: the novelette.


    Mine is way over the scale o_O

    The first draft was at 116k, and the final target is probably somewhere around 120-125k, somewhere in the neighborhood of between 450 and 500 pages. I don’t have any idea how I’d make it significantly shorter without cutting something meaningful.


    I haven’t finished my draft yet, but I guesstimate that it will be in the 200-300 page zone, so probably a novel.


    I tend to write novellas, according to the article. And apparently, my short stories aren’t quite long enough…

    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2010

    I’ve only ever finished my NaNo novels, and those come in at between 50k and 60k. Those have a lot of filler and pages of random WTF material, so they’re probably a lot shorter in reality. I think I could get them up to ~200 pages if I went back and edited and fleshed them out more. But I’m too afraid to try because I’m ashamed of my NaNo novels >.<


    The longest thing I’ve every written is only like 50,000. I feel inadequate, but I can’t make them any longer, no matter how hard I try to stuff them. I’m very…minimalistic with my writing, I think. :(

    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2010

    I’ve never been able to write more than 10,000 words on a single project, but I’m shooting for around 300 pages for my main piece of writing. I’m really bad at dedicating myself to one thing, so it could be quite awhile before I even get close to that goal.

    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2010

    I have a similar problem, Inspector. My project is 60k words and I just can’t stretch it past that. I know a different writer could easily take my plot and double it, but I’m just too sparse in my writing.


    That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Excess wordage is hardly something to be praised.

    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2010

    I tend to conclude most of my short stories at around 3000 words, but my novel is aimed at around 75k.

    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2010

    True, but I sometimes lack in developing tension and emption because I keep the pace cranked up faster than it should be. And I have a hard time slowing it down to develop things a little more.


    I’m the reverse. Almost all my scenes come out slow unless I really, really force myself. Even then, they’re still not all that fast.


    The longest thing I’ve written was 40,014 words. A good bit of it was filler in order to get to 40,000 words, and it’s probably not even that long because MS Word is counting the title page and chapter numbers. I have trouble stretching out the story. I start to run out of steam and end up with pages of WTF filler like Miel was talking about. I’m hoping to do better with my current material.

    I think that yours might be okay a little longer because I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that fantasy novels can be a little longer because most are… or something like that. Or maybe that was on the Sims, but it still sounds right.


    I’m the reverse. Almost all my scenes come out slow unless I really, really force myself. Even then, they’re still not all that fast.

    Yeah, I’m the same way. Pacing problems have been plaguing me ever since I started writing.


    I have pacing problems: everything too fast paced. It’s ok for short stories, but it’s hard for me to get to novel length.


    Have you ever finished a draft? If so, then you can just write a fast first draft and read it over to find out where you can insert more detail.