At the time of this writing, the first draft of my newest project, When the Gods Wish to Punish sits at 41,200 words. This means that it has officially crossed the 40,000 word mark, which makes it officially a novel and not a long novella.
Ever since I began focusing on concision with my third novel Alterra, I began to worry that I might one day end up with an awesome novel project that just happened to end in the 30-40k range. In other words, too long to call it a novella, even though that’s technically what it would be, but also too short to call a novel, either, and certainly not meeting the officially recognized standard for length.
For most ideas I have, I find 40-60k words to about the right range for me to be able to develop an idea, a handful of intriguing characters, an imaginative world, and set those characters about their business within it. A notable exception would be my in-progress project The Ghost King, which I expect to consist of five 15-25k parts, and so be much longer. But that project stands out as an exception. So is Schrödinger’s City, which was over 60k (but would have topped 120k if I’d written it before Alterra).
When the Gods feels as though it has less than a quarter of its length to go. I expect the draft to end somewhere around 50k words, although I am notorious for not guessing such things very well. Let’s see if I can manage to be right this time around.