I feel a little guilty about the times I’ve been told “I started reading your story and ended up staying up all night to finish it.” I mean, it’s an enormous compliment, so I also am very gratified… but OMG, I feel like I should have warned them. So consider yourself warned now!
I have divided my stories up into six length categories that are actually used in the publishing industry. Under each tab, you will find information about how long the stories in the category are, what that equates to in average reading time… and which stories fall in that category. So if you do end up staying up all night reading something… well, hopefully you planned for it?
Fiction (10)Short Story
“Flash Fiction” is any work that has less than 1,000 words. This is equivalent to five minutes or less of reading time for the average reader.
A “Short Story” is a work containing somewhere between 1,000 and 7,500 words, which equates to between five and forty minutes of reading time for an average reader.
A “Novelette” is a work containing somewhere between 7,500 and 20,000 words. This equates to somewhere between 35 minutes and an hour and 40 minutes of reading time for the average reader.
A “Novella” contains anywhere from 20,000 and 50,000 words, which will take somewhere between an hour and a half to over four hours of reading time for the average reader.
A “Novel” is a work containing anywhere from 50,000 words and 110,000 words, which will take between four and nine hours of reading time for the average reader.
An “Epic” is any work of fiction that exceeds 110,000 words, which means an average reader should expect it to take at least nine hours to read. Be warned. Have snacks on hand.