I recently shared with you that I’m working on a short story. Well, after checking my final word count, I realized it’s actually a novelette.
When I wrote the first draft of Paper Airplane, the word count was around 6,000 words. I continued to write and edit and didn’t pay close attention to the word count after that. I wanted to focus on developing the story and writing it until I felt the story was complete. Then I sent it to a couple of my beta readers. After I got their feedback, I did a few minor edits and checked my word count again. I was surprised to see it was now a little over 10,000 words. My short story was no longer a short story. It was now a novelette.
What is a novelette?
A novelette is basically too long to be a short story, but too short to be a novella. In terms of word count, a novelette has about 7,500 to 17,500 words.
So, will I cut my word count to stay in the short story category? No, I won’t. I wrote Paper Airplane for the story, not the word count. If it happens to be a novelette, then that’s what it’ll be.
In case you’d like to know more about word counts for fiction, check out the list below.
Flash fiction/short short stories: under 1,000 words
Short story: 1,000-7,500 words
Novelette: 7,500 to 17,500 words
Novella: 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novel: over 40,000 words
Here are a few helpful and interesting posts on word count.