Word Count of a Full-Length Novel

Q: A) When does the word “epic” apply to a novel? B) What range, in number of words, would define a full-length novel? -Christopher

A:
To me, “epic” suggests not only grand in size, but also grand in scope and impact, and something that will stand the test of time. War and Peace, that’s an epic. One Hundred Years of Solitude. If you ask me for the most recent “epic” book, I’d say Underworld by Don DeLillo.

B) I think when you pass the 75,000-word mark you’re entering the full-length novel range. Anything less than that is pretty short.


Steve Hamilton, Author of the Alex McKnight Novels
Winner of the Edgar and Shamus Awards for Best First Novel