Home Forums Fiction Writing Plotting Does it Have to be Long?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Shannon 4 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #55449

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
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    So….I’ve heard a lot about fantasy novels being long, but Iv’e never written anything longer than 85,000 thousand words. Anything that was going to be longer than that I never finished. So I’ve been wondering…how long is the max for fantasy novels?

    @daeus @aratrea @kate-flournoy @shannon @any and all fantasy people…

    Legend of King Daeus 3: in progress

    #55453

    Daeus
    @daeus
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    @dragon-snapper The max? Hahahahaha!

    Oh, dear. The max, you say. Well, I don’t know if there is a max. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Probably very few people if any have ever written a 1,000,000 word fantasy novel, but I will say that the trilogy I’m working on is looking like it will end up that long.

    And whatever you do, don’t ask Kate this question!

    Fantasy stories can be short though. No doubt about it. I think on average, publishers like fantasy stories to be from 80,000-120,000, though don’t quote me on that.

    If you want to write a shorter fantasy novel, don’t put too much thought into your world building and DON’T include much travel. Don’t develop major backstories or worry about more than one country. Be minimalist and be happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #55454

    Daeus
    @daeus
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    Oh, wait, you already asked Kate this question. WHY!?

    #55455

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
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    For a first time author, avoid going over 120k; 130k max if you absolutely have to. Once you become published, you can push the limit more (I just finished a 450k fantasy work that topped the NY bestselling list), but publishers aren’t willing to risk those sorts of word counts for unpublished authors.

    Writing fantasy stories w/superheroes. ยท josiahdegraaf.com


    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal
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    @dragon-snapper

    *sees you tagged @kate-flournoy*

    *beams and then collapses*

    I think Kate is doing a series that’s going to be, like, 5 million words. Or something like that, she said she had book 1 written and it was 500,000, so…

    I don’t think there is a max, at all.

    Besides what they can physically publish in a bonding, Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer is somewhere in the high 400 thousands I think and they’re having trouble running it on a paperback machine… but you can always do multiple volumes

    Usually fantasy novels are around 100-150 thousand words, or shorter, like 75,000, but there are some super longs ones.

    And those are EPIC

    (usually)

    #55459

    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal
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    @aratrea ๐Ÿ˜€ I know that book!

    Oathbringer was pretty mind-blowing, I thought. I was supremely satisfied with Dalinar, although I was getting angry at him in his backstory… the only thing that felt unfinished to me was the (Oathbringer spoilers for anyone randomly reading) Adolin/Sadeas conflict, it felt like it was resolved much too easily, but maybe it’ll continue further into book 4

    #55481

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
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    @sam-kowal Yeah, Dalinar’s character arc was amazing. Didn’t think Sanderson could top Kaladin’s in WoR, but he pretty much matched it. Yeah, Adolin seemed to get away with that, and I was also looking for some closure on the moral questions being raised regarding the morality of war. I suspect, though, that Sanderson at least plans on continuing the latter thematic thread through the rest of the series.

    Writing fantasy stories w/superheroes. ยท josiahdegraaf.com


    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
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    *evil snickering*

    Yeah… @daeus and @sam-kowal were right. I’m the wrong person to ask.

    @dragon-snapper


    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal
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    @aratrea ๐Ÿ˜€ Right. I think, along with the new uncertainty around the humans actually Invading Roshar and whether its right for them to be ruling most of the lands, that’s going to be a major thematic point at least for the first five books.

    And Yep, that climax with Dalinar was pretty much equally as shiver-inducing as Kaladin’s… ‘You cannot have my pain,’ ‘What is the most important step a man can take… the next,’ those were…amazing

    #55486

    Dekreel
    @dekreel
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    @dragon-snapper Personally, I don’t think it really matters how long it is! The only limit here is your imagination, and, for what it’s worth, I doubt that your imagination could be an impediment to you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Pronounced DEE-kreel. Daydreamer, Expert Whovian, ENFP-T.
    Writing a KeePer Adventure!

    #55489

    N. C.
    @daughteroftheking
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    @dragon-snapper I am also the wrong person to ask about this, (never mind that you didn’t ask me specifically. You get my advice anyway. Isn’t that great? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) because my goal flips between 80,000 and 40,000 depending on the day.

    It’s 40,000 right now. Take note, there will be a quiz on this later. xD

    I would say don’t worry about it too much right now. Some stories work best long, some don’t. Figure out what length would suit your book better before deciding on a word count.

    But not without regard for the double negative!

    #55494

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
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    Thanks for the input guys! ๐Ÿ˜€

    @kate-flournoy @daeus I tagged Kate because I knew she wrote fantasy…I just didn’t stop to consider how long the fantasy was. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My mistake. Haha.

    Legend of King Daeus 3: in progress

    #56098

    Shannon
    @shannon
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    @dragon-snapper Well, you got the wrong girl. I don’t write fantasy, Emily does. So, let me just tag her…@emily.

    MBTI: ENTP
    Dreamer, singer, & avid reader

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