Tags:
?

How short is a short story?

  1. Less than 1000 words

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. 1000 - 5000 words

    5 vote(s)
    62.5%
  3. 5000 - 20000 words

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. 20000 words +

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Takes 5 mins or less to read

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Takes between 5 mins and half an hour to read

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  7. Takes between half an hour and 2 hours to read

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Takes between 2 hours and one day to read

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  9. Other - please reply to thread

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England

    How short should a short story be?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gannon, May 24, 2007.

    I'm just wondering.

    I've recently entered a competition for short stories where the word limit is 55. This in my opinion, though a worthy and fruitful endeavour, does not constitute a short story. Luckily the competition was called The Short Short Story Competition to avoid such a problem.

    I've read short stories on this site that I would consider stories, beginning, middle and an end etc, that weigh in at under 1000 words - which is still not many.

    Does that constitute a short story?

    I've read classic 'classic' short stories, which read like plays, and 'classic' short stories which take between an hour and six to read.

    Your thoughts please.
     
  2. Ferret
    Offline

    Ferret Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.
    About twenty to sixty pages would be a full-fledged short story. ...But that would explain my lack of posting them I suppose.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    size is not determined by number of pages, but by total word count... here's a list of the various limits [subject to some variation, depending on whose list you use]:

     
  4. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Mammamaia is pretty much on target with her post, I believe. Mammamaia listing "about" is ever so important as the ranges vary to a certain degree, usually depending on the market you're looking at. Some say 5000 words, others say 7500, some say short stories up to 10,000. But the majority of markets seem to indicate between maxes 5000-7500 words consituting a short story. Usually anything less that 1000 (sometimes 1500) is considered flash fiction.

    One more opinion to add to the mix.

    Terry
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    the most important thing is to always check each venue's guidelines, to see what they consider the 'right' size range for the piece...
     
  6. Car'Mel
    Offline

    Car'Mel Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rockford but from Chicago's southside
    i think that it should be at least 5 -10 notebook pages because some children stories are short stories and that's how long htey are
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    that doesn't have anything to do with appropriate size for adult market short stories, bf... and no one in the publishing industry counts pages, btw... they only go by word count...
     

Share This Page