1. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    I've written it, but what is it?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Yitz, Apr 8, 2009.

    I just finished a story...well, at least the writing part.

    I now have to reread it at least 5 times and correct it, edit it,
    and tear it all apart and make sure everything fits.
    Currently, it's 10,103 words long and 27 pages double spaced.
    Is this past the realm of the short story? It's definitely not a book.
    What is it?
    What do you all do at this point?

    yitz
     
  2. OneMoreNameless
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    OneMoreNameless Contributing Member

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    I would consider 10k words a reasonable length for a short story.

    As for what to do with it, the better question is what do YOU want to do with it?
     
  3. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    If you're just looking for a label, the word count qualifies your story as a novellette.
     
  4. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Honestly, I'm just saying this based on an article I read not long ago linking labels to word counts. I don't remember where I saw the original article, but before I posted here I referenced Wikipedia. I've never seen one myself, so the validity in the literary world might be minimal.
     
  5. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    Yitz, as Banzai said its at the long end of a short story. Might be tricky to get published, but Im sure there are some magazines that will. If short stories are your thing, you can also try and get a collection published.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I would call that a novelette or novella, but if the guidelines use a certain term for stories of that length, make sure you use that one in your cover letter.

    Also (I know you weren't asking this, but it's something you need to know if you're going to submit), if it's only 27 pages the way you've formated it now, you're probably using a font that is way too small. With your word count, 27 pages averages to almost exactly 400 words per page. Editors spend all day reading submissions, so eyes get tired. Anything that makes their job even harder will only annoy them and make them less likely to accept you. Any acceptible font (e.g. courier new, 12p.) generally averages out to less than 350 per page.
     
  7. thegearheart
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    thegearheart Member

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    Labels are what you use to sell a story. It is what helps editors and agents know where to pigeon hole you.

    Why don't you post it here and we can help you tear sections out or add to it? :)

    If, after your edits, everything is still necessary, who cares about labels? That's just writing for marketability, which is ultimately a doomed endeavor. If you're wondering about venue, a lot of mags will print serialized short stories or "two-part stories".

    What I'm saying is this: you don't need to concern yourself with that right now. You said you haven't edited it, so you don't know what genius may lie in wait. Maybe you're wrong! Maybe it IS a short story. Or maybe there will be one passage that can be exploited for another 90k words... Just write what you have to now and worry about sales later!
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even if you don't write for marketability, you still need to know how it's going to be promoted. Otherwise, how can you pick the right publications?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The only reason for categorizing it, as gear says, is for deciding what publishing market you are submitting to.

    Publishers will give word count ranges in their submission guidelines. That count matters more than what name you give for it.

    Most stories, especially from new writers, contain plenty of fat that can be trimmed without marring the tale. Usually, trimming it down will improve the writing, too, so you may want to lean it down into a more saleable range anyway.
     
  10. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Novelette is my vote.
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I checked Duotrope and typed in 10k. Magazines that publish between 7,500-15,000 call them novelettes.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... past twice the optimum of 5k...

    ...as said above, it's long short story, or a novella/novelette [same thing, just about]...

    ...i wouldn't do anything, 'cause i wouldn't write such a thing ;-) ... but since you have, i'd suggest you go to work paring it down to essentials and make it a marketable short story...

    ...and, as rei noted, start using the proper font/pt size, so you'll have a ms that can be submitted...
     
  13. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most publishers of short fiction would classify it as a novelette. Review and edit to the essentials and then submit to markets that accept such lengths.

    I've sold three stories above the normal 5000 or so word cutoff: One 7700, one 8700 and one 6600 words. The available markets are fewer than for standard short story length, but once you have it, there is no reason you shouldn't attempt to get it published.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  14. Yitz
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    Yitz Member

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    Thanks all for the tips and info.

    It is 12 point Times New Roman font...I try to stay away from oddball fonts and
    sizes.
    It does need some deep cut editing I'd imagine. I was trying to avoid making it sound rushed, but I think
    the by-product of those efforts was a longer piece than I'd intended.
    I hadn't thought of selling it...what do short stories sell for on average?
    I'm just idly curious about that. For the most part, I wrote it to see if I could
    and to see how it turned out.
    I may post the first part soon.
    Thanks!

    Yitz
     
  15. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I'd definitely say that it's a long short story. I've seen some publishers refer to short stories as anywhere from 5k to 12k in the word range.

    A novella is actually 50,000words, I believe. I know Nano requires 50K words and *those* aren't long enough to be novels. Most novels have to be 100k if not 200k.

    ~Lynn

    (Oh, and I myself have never seen a *novelette* either...)
     
  16. OneMoreNameless
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    OneMoreNameless Contributing Member

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    Nnnah, that doesn't sound right. Maybe for fantasy or hard science fiction, but I'm sure I looked into this once and found somewhere around 80k was the norm for a first general fiction book. 50k is short, but could be a easily be a children's book.
     
  17. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I was talking about the adult fiction genre :p

    Different genres=different length requirements.
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yitz,

    You could earn anything from zero to 25 cents per word (and up) with magazines/ezines and anthologies. Sometimes a flat rate of $5.00 or $25.00 for example, especially with anthologies that might accept a longer work such as yours. With genre fiction, 5-6 cents a word is considered pro rate.

    The competition is very stiff. I've sold pieces for as little as $5.00 (and even a couple for nothing more than exposure). The best I've managed is 3 cents a word (capped at $100.00), so it's not impossible.

    If you hope to submit the piece for publication, I would suggest that if you post for crit here (or elsewhere) that you do not post the entire piece, but only a small section or two.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  19. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    The largest minimum I've seen so far for adult fiction is 100k and that was rare. 80k is usually the minimum. 200k is huge. Not many publishers are going to publish something that long unless the author is known.


    As for publishers buying a novelett at 10k, just check this link and type is 10,000 for word length. A lot of magazines pop up.

    I put in 10,000 words, and for payment I put semi-pro and up. I got 58 matches. For token payment and up I got 85. Some of them are temp. closed.
     
  20. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    And you're still only 27 pages? Unless your paragraphs are huge, your spacing or margins are probably a little small. It should be at least one inch all around, and of course double spacing. From what I've heard, TNR is becoming acceptible, but you're still safer courier. I know it's the big ugly one, but editors claim it's easier to read, and you have to do what the editors want when it comes to format.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What is TNR?
     
  22. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    TNR = Times New Roman
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Ah good. :)
    I really can't write in anything else.
    I don't even like Arial when writing.
     
  24. thegearheart
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    I'm a Garamond man, myself.
     
  25. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Because it's the industry's standard, I started writing everything in courier. I actually like the font now. I used to think it was ugly.
     

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