1. Zaphodb2002
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    Zaphodb2002 New Member

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    Short Story, Novella, or Novel?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Zaphodb2002, May 10, 2011.

    Which do you find yourself more attracted to, either from the author or reader's perspective?

    I ask because I can't seem to find a happy medium lately with my writing. My current project was originally intended to be a short story, but 4.5k words in, I'm only maybe a quarter through. I don't know if it'll get to 20k, but it won't surprise me at all. The novella is an interesting length, and a few of my favorite writings are novellas (Stephen King's "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" comes to mind). Writing an entire novel seems like a huge and daunting task to me, and this story isn't nearly complex enough to be one, but I find myself writing more than intended, rather than less. Anyone else feel like that?
     
  2. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Author: I don't think I'm capable of (seriously) writing a novel. I do think I can write a short story.

    Reader: I'll read almost any short story based on the flimsiest of reasons, like "It was right the closest to the door on my way out".
    I won't read a novel unless someone suggest me to read it and I have reasons to believe that persons criteria.


    No, I write the story and never even stop to think how many words it will end up having. It's about as important for me as the colour of the stand I'll be speaking from when they give me the Nobel Prize in literature.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Personally, as a writer and a reader, I love novellas. There isn't the same market for them as there is for novels and short stories (although, with e-publishing, the market is expanding), but they combine the simple, to-the-point nature of short stories with the extended and more complex storylines of novels. What's not to love?
     
  4. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    I HATE writing short fiction. I tend to have to many plot elements and I end up with a short story too long, so I write novels. I can do a lot more with 80,000 words than I can effectively do with 5,000.
     
  5. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    The only thing not to love with Novellas is the market. granted, with E publishing it's changing. Stephen King has trouble selling Novellas! He's said "Novellas are a literary Banana Republic." I like to think of it as the Rodney Dangerfield of writing: it gets no respect.
     
  6. Leatherworth Featherfist
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    Leatherworth Featherfist Member

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    I've always had a really romantic attitude toward novels.
    As an author I remain ever daunted by the idea of writing a novel, but it is my goal to write many.

    As a reader I am open to anything. Though, novels seem to satisfy something in me that no other form can.
     
  7. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a writer, I prefer writing short stories. Probably mainly because I seem to be more successful and enjoy it. I've only had one real attempt at writing a novel, I have openings and ideas for novels but I just find short stories more appealing in a way.

    As a reader, I like novels most probably. This may just be because I've read more novels than anything else though because they're easier to get hold of.

    I've deliberately not mentioned novellas because I'm always unsure of what that exactly means as I only really know that in length it's between the short story and novel. :p
     
  8. JMTweedie
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    JMTweedie Senior Member

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    I love reading novels. I like to take my time and get absorbed into a good book for at least a week.

    I'm now writing one that I would love to read myself. I'm sure others will love it too.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've happily written both short stories and novels, been a avid reader of both all my reading life... but i'd never written novellas, since there was no paying market for them back when i was writing for money...

    however, many new writers today are finding that length work attractive, since the advent of e-books, kindle and its kin have made it less of an exercise in futility...
     
  10. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Novels all the way for me.

    Short stories are well too short. I like complex plots with many subplots. With a short story you end up with too many unanswered questions. Also, I love details. With a short story you can't get messy, you have to be focused. I am too scatter brained for that.
     
  11. Velox
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    Velox Senior Member

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    Novels. That's only if they're published, though. If they're just posted on the web, then I'd rather read a short story.

    However, I do really like anthologies [collection of short stories/novellas], and have several, even though I haven't read any yet [e.g., I have a couple Alfred Hitchcock's picks, Thriller (edited by James Patterson), Edgar Allen Poe's stories, Sherlock Holmes, Flanner O'Conner's short stories, Ernest Hemmingway's, etc.]. One reason is because they have several authors often, and that will help me find out new authors that I like. Then there's anthologies like Side Jobs, by Jim Butcher, which is awesome because they go with/between the novels [of which I've only read Storm Front, but I now have all of them except Changes so hope to read them all soonish].

    So yeah. I like either a collection of short stories/novellas, or else just novels. But if I want to read something quick, then obviously short stories/novellas are my preferred reading material.
     
  12. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    This is why I have issues with a lot of novels, though. People think the writing can be irrelevant and sloppy just because they have more space to fill. No thanks. Page for page, I want my novels as tight as my short stories.
     

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