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  1. #1
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    Book word count and cliffhanger ending

    What is the word count for a novel? What elements make for a suspenseful cliffhanger?



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    Traditionally over 50,000 words is a novel. I'm sure you can find out on Google.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I think about 80K - 100K is average.

    Typically, the main character in a perilous situation with no visible means of immediate rescue makes for a good cliffhanger. But there's many others. I like when a bombshell secret is revealed myself, lol.

  4. #4
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    I think one of the best kinds of cliff hangers is when something extremely amazing happens after possibly a lull, like a turn of events in the direction you'd rather see it go, and then it stops. Like a character you can't stand being suddenly killed off by the main character, and the main character making a declaration of war against the rest of the enemy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    I think about 80K - 100K is average.

    Typically, the main character in a perilous situation with no visible means of immediate rescue makes for a good cliffhanger. But there's many others. I like when a bombshell secret is revealed myself, lol.
    That is exactly what I'm thinking of doing, then picking up from there to the main character's rescue in the second book. Thanks, John!

  6. #6
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    That is exactly what I'm thinking of doing, then picking up from there to the main character's rescue in the second book. Thanks, John!
    Dangit it's spoiled for me. Haha.

  7. #7
    Member K.S. Crooks's Avatar
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    For generalities for word count it depends on the type of novel you are writing. One thing I found states:
    For adult novels-
    80,000 – 89,999: Totally cool 90,000 – 99,999: Generally safe
    70,000 – 79,999: Might be too short; probably all right
    100,000 – 109,999: Might be too long; probably all right
    Below 70,000: Too short 110,000 or above Too long

    But these are all affected by other aspects. A fantasy or Sci-Fi is typically larger due to world building. If it is middle grade novel it may be shorter. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is around 37 000 words, the first Harry Potter is around 77 000, The Hobbit 95 000 and Twilight 118 000. All fantasy but targeted to different age groups.

    For your second question, for me a good cliff hanger occurs when the protagonist seemingly makes good progress towards their goal, only to find out that the antagonist had been guiding their actions in the way they wanted. now the protagonist has to revise their plans to deal with this huge setback.
    K.S. Crooks - Dreamer and Author
    http://www.kscrooks.com

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