Is a 70,000-Word Count Sufficient for a Novel?

Writing a novel is a journey of creativity and discipline. One essential aspect to consider during this journey is word count. A common question by many writers is: “Is 70,000 words enough for a novel?”.

This guide will provide a comprehensive answer, taking into account various factors including genre, audience, and publishing platform.

Word Count: A Matter of Genre

It’s crucial to understand that the ideal word count can vary significantly depending on the genre of your novel. For instance, adult fiction usually ranges between 70,000 to 120,000 words, whereas young adult fiction can average around 50,000-70,000 words. Genre-specific books, like romance novels, tend to have a smaller word count, approximately 50,000-60,000 words.

    • Crime and Thriller Novels: Ranging typically between 75,000 to 120,000 words.
    • Historical Fiction: “Normal” historical fiction usually touches 75,000 to 100,000 words. Epic historical pieces can increase up to 150,000 to 180,000 words.
    • Fantasy: These books can extend up to 180,000 words, or even over 200,000 words.
    • Children’s Fiction: Varies largely depending on age-group. Younger the age group, shorter the book.
    • Non-fiction: Most non-fiction books need to be in the 70,000 to 100,000-word range.
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The significance of word count

Word count is not merely a number; it has a quality implication. A novel much shorter or longer than the average word count of its genre could indicate underdevelopment or lack of focus respectively. A short novel might lack the complexity of plot, whereas an excessively long novel may annoy readers with unnecessary details.

Word Count: Publishing Considerations

The publishing industry uses word count as an evaluation criterion. Traditional publishers often set word count guidelines to ensure a book’s marketability and manage production costs. However, self-publishing platforms offer more flexibility, allowing authors to experiment with novel lengths that may not adhere to traditional word count standards.



Word count is an important guideline, not a rigid rule. While 70,000 words can theoretically be enough for a novel, it is essential to respect genre expectations, have a well-developed plot, and maintain reader engagement. The key is to balance word count with storytelling appeal. Your novel should justify its length, whether it’s 50,000 words or 150,000 words. Remember, the ultimate goal is to tell a compelling story that satisfies your readers. Don’t be afraid to rewrite, cut, or add as necessary in your revisions. Novel writing is both an art and a discipline, and mastering it involves creating a narrative that works within the established norms while also reflecting your unique style.

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