Word Count and Book Length plus Good Grammar

A common question new or aspiring writers often wonder is, how long should my book be? Some are afraid of writing too much, but, more often than not, one might be concerned with writing to little. Finding the optimal word count depends on several things. A typically novel ranges from 70,000 words to 120,000 words (roughly between 280 and 480 pages). Assuming youre writing a fictional novel, you need to consider your genre and target market, as well as your publishing history.
 
While most novels will be within the above range, some genres will be more inclined to be shorter or longer. For example, books for young adults typically are much shorter than those for older audience.

Similarly, science fiction and fantasy books are much longer, often exceeding 150,000 words.
Your published history is also a factor, albeit more indirect. If you have been published in the past successfully, a publisher will likely be willing to give you much more leeway with word length.

Publishers need to know that their investment will pay off. With a successful track record, its possible they wont give you any constraints at all (within reason). If youre trying to get a book published for the first time, your word count should at least be reasonably within the guidelines regarding standard length within you niche and audience. If youre looking to become a first-time publisher, a shorter debut novel will not only receive better attention from publishers, but it will also be more likely to pick up new readers.

Ultimately, there are no requirements for word count. Generally speaking, writing more is better than not writing enough, at least in the first draft; its a lot easier to cut out 25,000 words than to add them. As a writer, you should write however long it takes you to finish the story. Also remember that quality is better than quantity; writing a short, high quality novel will have much higher chances of being published than a long one thats sub par. While it is important to set goals for finishing your novel, getting caught up in word count and page number may be more harmful than helpful.

As a reader, theres little that will annoy me more than poor grammar.
Using correct grammar, including spelling and punctuation, gives you a bit of credibility. It makes you seem much more professional than if youre mistaking youre with your and a colon with a semicolon. If you use correct grammar you make your writing appealing to the reader, which should be your goal. It also makes the reader think you know what youre talking about, or at least more than if your writing is littered with errors.

You should never use poor grammar. Typically, making grammatical errors shows one of two things: ignorance or laziness. Neither should be an excuse. If you consider yourself a writer, its your duty to know if a usage is correct or not; if you are unsure, its still your duty. Moreover, its your job to proofread your own work. Likewise, laziness cant be an excuse; if anything, its worse than not knowing how to use a grammatical situation correctly. It shows that you dont care. If you dont care, i dont care; if I dont care, Im not going to read your writing.

To summarize, grammar lets the reader know how serious you are about writing. It tests your perseverance and demonstrates your willingness to work and learn. The more grammatically sound your writing is, the more professional it will be.
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