Editing Tip #110 – Knowing What Format You’re Writing in is Half the Battle

M.J. Mores breaks down category genres and expected word count for us in the traditional sense. Some guidelines to adhere to especially when submitting, and looking for an agent!

Many new writers know of the two main categories of writing: Novels and Short Stories. Occasionally emerging writers are also familiar with the term Novella but this is where things start to get ‘sticky’. Certain genres do well as novellas and certain others not so much. And then, if you can believe it, there are over a dozen forms of Flash Fiction (smaller than a Short Story) and something called the Novelette…


Let’s break this down.

Flash Fiction: 6 – 1000 words (6 word stories, micro-fiction, postcard fiction, short short stories, sudden fiction, etc.)

by bonnybbx CC0 Via Pixabay by bonnybbx CC0 Via Pixabay

Short Story: 1000 – 7,500 words

Novelette: 7,500 – 17,500

Novella: 17,500 – 40,000

Novel: 40,000+

Genre Specific Word Counts.

Picture books: 350 – 600 words

Early Readers: individual publishers set targets according to reading level, but under 3,500

Chapter books: 6,000 – 10,000

Middle Grade (or…

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