Word Count

How many words are in a novel?  I often think about what the number is for a novel, novella, and short story.  The answer isn’t set in stone.  It appears that the difference between a novel and novella isn’t quite definite.

The line between a novel and novella varies between 40,000 (as defined by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and 50,000 (as defined by National Novel Writing Month), and may even be much higher.  One source says at least 80,000 for adult novels.  So there is no hard rule.  And it really depends on publisher and genre.  So, I’ve wondered how many words are in some well-known novels.  I’ve taken some books from a list on another website, and chose a few to display the range.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factor – 30,644
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – 36,363
  • Fahrenheit 451 – 46,118
  • Brave New World – 63,766
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 77,325
  • 1984 – 88,942
  • The Hobbit – 95,022
  • Ender’s Game – 100,609
  • Oliver Twist – 155,960
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 198,227
  • Moby Dick – 206,052
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 257,154
  • Gone With the Wind – 418,053
  • Atlas Shrugged – 561,996
  • War and Peace – 587,287

Some of them are incredibly long.  But from what I’ve read, fantasy and sci-fi are typically between 90,000 and 120,000 as recommended by publishers.

Journey to Ariadne won’t be long.  I’ve conservatively estimated it to be around 40,000 words, which may be a short novel or a long novella, depending on who you ask.