Novel Words

The average novel I have on my shelf has around 500 words, approx. 30 lines per page (give or take), with an average of 13 words per line.  So this equates to around 200,000 words.

When writing essays for university the average is 1500 words, a mere drop in the ocean.  Even the dissertation was only (yes, I know say only like it was a walk in the park) 8,000-10,000 words.  I have this bound in solid book format on my shelf in A4 hardback, and it looks fairly impressive.  Yet, is there more or less research involved in fiction writing? would it take around the same time to write? If so I am guessing I probably spend between 24-168 hours or 1-7 days (average) if i worked flat out and didnt break for sleeping eating or anything… for one 1,500 word essay.  So then, in theory it would take around 134-22,600 days solid (4 1/2 months – 62 years) or realistically I’d average that out at 1-50 years per novel. Ha! How on earth does J K Rowling knock them out so quick then?

But then a quick bit of research shows my maths must be way way out as Scott Marlowe suggests if you write around 500 words a day you should have a 400 page novel completed in just over a year (read more at  So maybe not that impossibly scary afterall…. But then you have to get published and is that easy or hard? Who knows.  Crazy. I never ever thought i would even be thinking this let alone writing stories for a university course, had it not been a small taste I got last year on the A105 course, I would have still just been doing English Language instead of Creative Writing.

ah well.

On words and upwards.

My novel break from TMA writing and editing is now over – back to the grindstone…


4 thoughts on “Novel Words

  1. I’m working on a”story bible” for the story I’m working on. It has taking me away from the writing a bit, but it has been fun

      1. So the story bible is like a companion book for your story. It contains the history of the characters and facts about the society – stuff like that.

        I have to do it for a class but its for a story that I hope to publish someday.

        When I’m done, I can send it to you if you like?

        It’s a month long project so it will take a bit.

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