In the world of writing, there are a number of frequently asked questions and at the top we always find: “How long does my story need to be?” The cliché answer also happens to be the true answer. Your story needs to have the exact amount of words necessary to express your story in a manner that entices your reader to follow you to your conclusion and leave them satisfied that enough has been expressed.
That having been said, it is also helpful to know how your completed story would be classified to those that might publish it for you. Generally speaking: A work is considered Flash Fiction when it has fewer than 1,000-2,000 words. A work is considered a Short Story when it falls between 2,000-7,500 words. A work is considered a Novelette when it falls between 7,500-17,500 words. A work is considered a Novella when it falls between 17,500-50,000 words. A work is considered a Novel when it has more than 50,000 words. A work is considered an Epic Novel when it has more than 200,000 words.
You should keep in mind that “word counts” vary from program to program, so it is customary to reference your word count as “approximate” or “estimated.”
Original publication date August 21, 2008