1. cerb123
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    cerb123 Member

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    What constitutes a short story.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cerb123, Mar 17, 2012.

    What constitutes a short story on these boards? I have several pieces between 8,000-20,000 words which I very much consider short stories. One of the most important aspects of creating a story for me though is creating an avenue for continuity of the story. I think this helps drive the word count up because I want enough meat on the stories bones to invest my self enough that continuing with the characters or settings are worth it. I find that often times my short stories work themselves into loosely cohesive collections of short stories which might have an over arching theme or long term goal but are very much their own stories.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What, exactly, are you asking? Are you wondering about posting a short story for review here? And how long such a story can be? Or is your question just a general one?

    I'm preparing to submit to science fiction magazines, and usually, their guidelines say that a short story tops out at about 7,500 words. Novelettes are longer (maybe up to 15k, going from memory), and novellas are anything longer than that, but still too short to be serialized in multiple issues.

    When you say "creating an avenue for continuity of the story", do you mean you plan to write sequels? Sounds like it. Right now I'm working on a series of connected stories myself - most will be novelette-length; one or two may turn into novellas. I'm kind of excited about this project, and I'm hoping that one or two (or more!) of these will see publication.
     
  3. cerb123
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    cerb123 Member

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    You managed to answer my question fairly well with how poorly I worded the question in retrospect hehe. I tend to go about 1,500 to 4000 words on an average project but I will reuse characters and settings 4 to 10 times which makes their entire journey ends up being more or less about 40,000 words.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm still not getting you... do you mean you write a series of 1,500-4,000 word 'character/setting-connected' short stories that you then put together as a short novel?... where does the 8,000-20,000 figure you mentioned first come in?

    and if you're asking if you can post an entire short story of whatever size on the site, do you not understand that posting a whole story can hamper your ability to sell it to a magazine?
     

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