Books vary in length. There are many factors such as the font, the size of the font, page size, etc. Typically we assume an average page contains 350 words. Then you have to ask yourself what is the “normal” length for a fantasy novel? Well, I have an answer that most people should accept seeing as it comes from a very good fantasy source.
The Hugo Awards state for their award categories they use the following word count:
Best Novel: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.
Best Novella: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) and forty thousand (40,000) words.
Best Novelette: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seven thousand five hundred (7,500) and seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) words.
Best Short Story: Awarded for science fiction or fantasy story of less than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) words.
So, 40,000 words for a novel. Most novels I read, such as urban fantasy, are around 70,000 to 90,000 words. Takes me around 6 hours to read. My last novel was 135,000 words. So wow, poop on a stick! I should be splitting my novels into their two parts and selling them that way! I would have FOUR books on the market by now!
Just kidding. I just write a lot of – very meaningful – words. I’ve always been verbose. I spend time describing the world that most best-selling authors don’t do. Lots and lots of dialogue interspaced with a little tell. That’s the big drive for acceptable mainstream novels these days. Writers always preach “Show don’t tell“. At its simplest, this phrase means to show the reader what is happening, or what the character is feeling by showing it, not telling. For example, you don’t write “He felt sad.” Instead, you would show it. For example: “The man hung his head and lifted a finger to wipe away a stray tear.” You’ve just shown he is sad instead of saying that he is sad. I admit it is a much better way of writing and lets the writer show his/her talent. That being said, it’s reached the point that if you don’t show and do tell, people will harshly critique you. I think it’s a step backwards in some ways. I love the tell that the classic fantasy authors provided – and don’t tell me they didn’t. Pun intended.
So why blog all this dribble? I have decided that after Freamhaigh, the fourth novel in the New Druids series, I will reduce the words in my next novels down to around 80,000 to 90,000 words. And publish more often. The New Druid series will embark on a series of smaller tales after Freamhaigh. Many ideas. Just need the time to write them.
Edited to correct grammar and the like. I rushed this blog post earlier today.
The Public Affairs office of the Royal Canadian Navy just put up an article on yours truly in the RCN Crowsnest Magazine. Here is the link. A nice article that touches on the things that matter most to me: family, writing and the RCN. If you didn’t know (which means you didn’t read my author page in my books) I am a Royal Canadian Navy senior officer. I am foremost a Maritime Surface officer but more importantly to me: a Communications specialist; which means I like networks and stuff. And I do. I truly am a geek and I am only comfortable around other geeks. I like people who throw out movie quotes from obscure and recent sci-fi and fantasy movies. I GET those people. Heh. I laugh at almost all the XKCD comics. Spider-Man is my personal hero.
What’s not to like about geeks, really? I see people in cosplay and think – wow, they are awesome. One of my proudest moments was at Awesomecon in Washington DC a couple of years back and my son cos-played Richard from Hot Line Miami. People were asking for his photo and calling out to him. It was a great day. I’m always proud of my kids – always – but some moments stand out. Like when he showed up in front of me with his electric guitar and started to play “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd – because I had mentioned it in passing one day. Or when my daughter was interviewed for a Canadian documentary on Doctor Who fans, dressed as the female version of the Tenth Doctor (he’s dreamy apparently). Or when she was accepted into a University of Ottawa program to promote women in engineering – twice.
Love life. Love Family. Love each other. Each to its absolute fullest. Peace out.
Oh, one last thing: Stoc is now at 20,000 words…this story is good…buy my books…leave reviews!
I admit to some degree of surprise but I am very honoured to have been recognised as the winner of GOLD in the category of Fantasy/Other Worlds in the Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards 2016 for Duilleog. Duilleog was my first novel in the New Druids series and a novel I wrote to fulfil a long-held desire to see my name on a novel. Now having published book two, and working on number three, I can only wonder how writing has become such a passion. If you haven’t read my two novels, please do so. And leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads!
I wrote Duilleog sometime ago and went through all the pain indie writers go through. Writing the novel was the easy part – it was the formatting, rules, publishing challenges, etc that plagued me. It took me nearly half a year to simply figure out the how of publishing. Craobh took me only nine months start to finish. Stoc will be about the same.
Thanks to the judges over at Dan Poynter’s. You honour me.
For anyone in Ottawa: I will be selling trade paperbacks versions of The New Druids series novels Duilleog and Craobh on August 7th from 10am to 4pm at the Ottawa Bytown Market. I will be happily signing them as well. The Bytown Market is a thriving business area and hosts a wide variety of vendors and the like. The City of Ottawa graciously provides an area for Ottawa authors to sell their novels. Free for the asking for vendor space.
The following week on August 13th, I will be at the Author’s Market at the Ottawa Parkdale outdoor market from 10am to 4pm (provided I have books left to sell). This is another City of Ottawa run event and they have provided me space with any other Ottawa author who cares to participate.
If you were waiting for a chance to get your hands on the book and hate eBooks, this is your chance. I will only have two dozen of each novel so get there early and maybe do a little produce shopping at the surrounding booths.
I hope to see you there!
Lastly, I’ve chosen my logo! Thanks to everyone that voted!