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last question for awhile (1 Viewer)

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kunox

Senior Member
One simple question... How long is too long for a novel? no litteraly. also how long would an "epic story" be. I don't mean a good story but an "epic" literaly.

p.s. All I can say is buckle up Dorothy???
 
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ehbowen

Senior Member
Les Misérables in the original French weighs in at 655,478 words, and Atlas Shrugged is estimated to be near 645,000 (even Ayn Rand herself didn't have the patience for an accurate count!). Wikipedia has a list (may not be exhaustive) of novels over 500,000 words published by mainstream publishers.

That said, my personal opinion is that if your story is over 300,000 words you would be well advised to find ways to break it up into a trilogy or ongoing series....
 

ehbowen

Senior Member
I'm wondering the same thing; first installment written, looking for an agent shortly. More to follow...I hope!

Best of luck to you with your project.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
wordcount.jpg

Uploaded an image I came across - I'm reluctant to do such a thing here, and hope it's ok.
 

kunox

Senior Member
I am just thinking of writing a bunch of stories on different things... what I am calling a story-verse or domain.... and then possibly have a collection or mega omnibus at half price for everything.... only digital but I swear I just want each domain to have it's own book for some reason...

p.s. I am not sure If I am crazier than a bag of cats or a bag of owl pop but ether way I want to sell them as at least 1,500 to 2,000-ish pages.. not even sure why... I just want every story of that universe or thing in that universe in one collection... why??? I have no clue... but I will still be selling them seperatly though,
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
View attachment 26088

Uploaded an image I came across - I'm reluctant to do such a thing here, and hope it's ok.

I always think these genre breakdowns are a little weird. Why is 'horror' 80,000 to 100,000 but 'paranormal' 85,000 to 100,000? I'm guessing this is probably just aggregated from the different genres on the market, but I'm not even sure what 'paranormal' means as a genre. The only non-horror 'paranormal' genre I am aware of is paranormal romance and usually that isn't very long.

Also wish these things would stop with including 'novelettes' as though its a recognizable form of modern adult fiction. Incredibly hard to publish anywhere.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I always think these genre breakdowns are a little weird. Why is 'horror' 80,000 to 100,000 but 'paranormal' 85,000 to 100,000? I'm guessing this is probably just aggregated from the different genres on the market, but I'm not even sure what 'paranormal' means as a genre. The only non-horror 'paranormal' genre I am aware of is paranormal romance and usually that isn't very long.

Also wish these things would stop with including 'novelettes' as though its a recognizable form of modern adult fiction. Incredibly hard to publish anywhere.

I agree - but it provides a starting point.
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
but I'm not even sure what 'paranormal' means as a genre. The only non-horror 'paranormal' genre I am aware of is paranormal romance and usually that isn't very long.

I write content that might be considered "paranormal" that's not horror and definitely is not romance. It's about combining paranormal elements with plots you wouldn't normally see these elements a part of. I mean I'm not exactly ​wildly successful with it . . . but you get the idea.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
I write content that might be considered "paranormal" that's not horror and definitely is not romance. It's about combining paranormal elements with plots you wouldn't normally see these elements a part of. I mean I'm not exactly ​wildly successful with it . . . but you get the idea.

Yet different to Fantasy/urban fantasy?
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
Para- (prefix): A prefix with many meanings, including: alongside of, beside, near, resembling, beyond, apart from, and abnormal

So maybe like 'The keeper of lost things' which is a perfectly normal story, but there are ghosts and ghostly happenings alongside normality and not essential to the story?
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
Yet different to Fantasy/urban fantasy?

Not really. It's mostly stuff that could be classified as low-fantasy.

I've never encountered a magazine that accepts "paranormal" but not fantasy.

Maybe a highly realistic and believable ghost story would count as "paranormal" but not fantasy.
 

Kyle R

WF Veterans
The lines often blur between "Paranormal" and "Fantasy", but Fantasy usually focuses on kind of magic system, while Paranormal usually focuses on paranormal/supernatural elements (creatures, spirits, etc), without the presence of magic.

So the existence (or non-existence) of magic is kind of the measuring point.

(But, again, there are a lot of stories that blend, or defy, the two.)
 

kunox

Senior Member
isn't ghostbusters the movie not the earlier cartoon proof that paranormal can be scifi even?
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
The lines often blur between "Paranormal" and "Fantasy", but Fantasy usually focuses on kind of magic system, while Paranormal usually focuses on paranormal/supernatural elements (creatures, spirits, etc), without the presence of magic.

So the existence (or non-existence) of magic is kind of the measuring point.

(But, again, there are a lot of stories that blend, or defy, the two.)

Not to provoke a contentious debate, but what is magic I wonder? Are ghosts not magical?
 

ehbowen

Senior Member
Not to provoke a contentious debate, but what is magic I wonder? Are ghosts not magical?

In my own mind, at least, here's the dividing line:

"Magic" refers to the belief that by manipulating some tools (potions, words, gestures, etc.) a character is able, or believes he/she is able, to cause disproportionate changes in the larger world.

"Paranormal" is centered around the concept that an entity, human or otherwise, has an innate ability to manipulate matter/energy or acquire/transmit information which is not available to 99%+ of the "normal" human population.

And, yes, it's a blurry line. Harry Potter uses wands, spells, potions, etc. but also takes the position that the larger group of humans are "Muggles" who lack the innate ability to use these tools. Many "paranormal" stories like to make the innate assumption that all humans have the basic potential, but only a fortunate few have managed to find the way to unlock it.
 

Greyson

Senior Member
Not to provoke a contentious debate, but what is magic I wonder? Are ghosts not magical?

I think it depends on the context of your usage. I'll avoid the metaphysics of ghosts irl, for similar reasons you cautioned.
But in a story, I think you can have ghosts be magical, or natural, depending on your usage. This will, naturally, go
one way or another depending on your actual beliefs, but I don't believe those limit the range of use.

So, a ghost can provide magical elements through actions it takes in tandem with the characters. Maybe it
drives the plot, forces strange occurrences, and is unexplainable beyond being 'a ghost'. Or, you can have it be
explained and natural, acting almost as a character within the story. To me, either is totally viable and can yield
interesting results.
 

Greyson

Senior Member
Also, in response to the original question: I think length is going to depend on content.
If you can say and experience everything in the novel in fewer words, maybe it can be shorter.
If every plot point and chapter is necessary to the climax and content, then it's exactly as long
as it needs to be. My stance is a story makes known how long it needs to be. (Not very helpful,
but then I've never claimed to be very helpful in these matters ;P)
 

kunox

Senior Member
In my own mind, at least, here's the dividing line:

"Magic" refers to the belief that by manipulating some tools (potions, words, gestures, etc.) a character is able, or believes he/she is able, to cause disproportionate changes in the larger world.

"Paranormal" is centered around the concept that an entity, human or otherwise, has an innate ability to manipulate matter/energy or acquire/transmit information which is not available to 99%+ of the "normal" human population.

And, yes, it's a blurry line. Harry Potter uses wands, spells, potions, etc. but also takes the position that the larger group of humans are "Muggles" who lack the innate ability to use these tools. Many "paranormal" stories like to make the innate assumption that all humans have the basic potential, but only a fortunate few have managed to find the way to unlock it.
ty.. btw if werewolfs, zombies and vampiers can be science fiction due to a genetic retrovirus than why can't souls due to electromagnetic fields. in fiction at least.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
Just an FYI. Jim Baen Books publishes fantasy and sci-fi. Their guidelines advise your submission be north of 100K if you want them to take it seriously.
 
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