1. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

    Dec 7, 2014
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    fargo, ND

    How many scenes in a short story

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by DeadMoon, May 29, 2016.

    In the opinions of all writers here, How many scenes do you include in a short story?

    Do you limit it to a few, have a lot or keep it to one well crafted one?

    I know there is no right answer here, just looking for a general consensuses.
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Well that is the question, what kind of story are you looking to write? I have read many that have been on both either spectrum, as well as being only a few pages, upwards all the way to 60+. So all you have to do is decide just how elaborate you wish to make it. I have read really long shorts, with a few scenes, and short ones with a few scenes. One or two in the middle range that have very in depth but are in one scene. So you have to figure out what plan and angle you want to go with, both can be great in their own ways. I understand that this is not a direct answer, but the question is not one of singular direction. Good luck and just let it flow. :)
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I agree that it's completely variable, and I also think it depends on where you draw the line between short story and novella. I've read some sources that cut short stories off at around 7K words, with a "novellete" classification if it goes longer. If you're limiting yourself to only 7K words I wouldn't think you'd have room for more than a few scenes at most... but, of course, there are exceptions to every rule.
  4. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    Yeah, it can definitely go both ways, but for me personally I tend towards several scenes rather than just one. Off the top of my head I can think of this piece that had about three or four scenes and it was about 4500w I think, while a one-scene one was more in the 1k range. In my experience your one-scene deals are more likely to actually be flash fiction, but that has a lot to do with the brevity or lack thereof in your style, to be fair - mine's been described as skeletal, so you can take my reckonings with a pinch of salt, hahah. There's probably also some discussion to be had on what counts as a single scene, really.
  5. tumblingdice

    tumblingdice Member

    Feb 14, 2016
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    I usually go by the introduction-conflict-resolution scheme, so that's three scenes. Not all stories follow that conventional pattern, of course, so the number of scenes can vary.

    Also, if there's only one character in the story and it's mostly character-driven without much plot, one long scene works perfect.

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