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  1. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Good length for a short story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by peachalulu, Jun 5, 2012.

    Hi , I just finished writing my first , ever , short story. It actually went better than I thought. I was able to wrap it up and feel pleased with the results. The second one is running a little longer and it's making me slightly nervous. What's a good length for a short story? I'm heading towards twenty pages and counting.
     
  2. Show

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ideally, the story's done when it's done. If you're looking to get it published, from what I've seen, 5K is a popular limit. But I've seen many places that will consider up to 7.5K words. (Which is good, cause one of my short stories is just short of that.) Beyond that, I believe it's typically viewed as "novelette" territory. And those are not totally unpublishable either, but I imagine they'd be harder to place than a short story.

    Right now, I wouldn't worry about length. Write it until you complete it and then revise it until it's as good as it can be. Just finish it. Who knows, you might find yourself cutting a lot in revision. :)
     
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First: All submissions are measured inm word counts, not page counts.

    Second: The right word count range depends a great deal on where it is being submitted, and for what purposes. You must read the submission guidelines for each publication you are submitting to.

    Having said that, I doubt you will find many publications looking for short stories in excess of 10,000 words. There is a subcategory of short stories called flash fiction, with strict upper word count limits as high as 500 words or as low as 100.

    Learn to use the word count feature of your word processor. Most, but not all, text editors have a similar feature if you aren't using a word processor.
     
  4. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto what cog said...
     
  5. Mark_Archibald

    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I like writing 2,000 word short stories. You can write them in one day, or you can spend two weeks making them perfect.
     
  6. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Thanks for the advice! I had to get my story in hand by backing up and cutting off a turning point to reign it in, which made it easier to wrap up. It was heading into novella territory. So far it's about 6,000 words but it's only the first draft. I'm working hard at becoming concise in the small stuff ( stories , articles ) , to help me out with the big stuff ( novels. )
     

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