1. Baller Dale

    Baller Dale New Member

    Jan 25, 2012
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    Not sure if I should write a short story or a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Baller Dale, Mar 10, 2012.

    I want to a write a short story about a bank robbery. The thing is, it's probably going to be too long. I don't think I'll be able to squeeze everything in.

    "Why don't you just write a novel then?", you ask.

    I've never written a short story.

    Surely I have to write short stories before I can move up to a novel? Also, I have a 'sequel' in mind (which, I guess, would be my second short story).

    What do you guys think I should do? Write it as a short story and see if it gets too long? Or write everything I think should be in there, meaning it will probably be longer than the general short story length?

    Sorry for being such a novice!

    Thanks :)
  2. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    I don't think you necessarily have to write short stories before starting to write novels, at least I didn't. I started writing long stories when I was in my early teens and it's the form that comes naturally to me since my ideas tend to need more space than a short story will allow. I have never even written one shorter story than 50K. I think it depends on the idea whether it will be a short story or novel-lenght.
  3. Allan Paas

    Allan Paas New Member

    Sep 27, 2011
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    It's better to just write the story. Best not to make any limitations as 'a short story or a novel?' Just write it, it will be as long as it will. Don't make the story suffer because you think it will be too long. You can always edit it later if you feel that something is a little off.
  4. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributor Contributor

    Jun 12, 2010
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    My first ever writing project is now an 100,000 word novel. A very early draft of the start is on here somewhere lol Then I started writing short stories and now I even write flash fiction and poetry. I enjoy the challenge of running off a story that is less than 75 words, but it is far more difficult than writing a novel, the latter is just more time consuming.

    Different length of stories require different skills and abilities, so whilst writing scripts, poems, flash fiction hones skills that help with my novel writing, writing novels helps with writing the others.

    Of them all I think a novel is by far the easiest and most forgiving to start with. It needs rewriting and reworking as you go along and allows for playing with different methods and styles without having to get used to new characters and settings. My appalling first draft of my first novel (it read like a bad 70s porn movie without the interesting bits) has long since faded into the background with rewrites and editing.
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    The commitment is far greater if you opt for the novel. But only you can decide whether the story has sufficient meat to it for a novel.

    It may also be challenging to tighten your focus to make it fit into a short story, but what you would learn in the process would probably improve you overall skills as a writer.

    Option 3: Write the short story first. You may then be better positioned to write the full novel.
  6. marcuslam

    marcuslam New Member

    Mar 10, 2012
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    Cogito shared some great thoughts on this. It's good to take it one step at a time, yet, sometimes, you can gain a lot by tackling challenges that you feel might be beyond your current level. Of course, you never want to overwhelm yourself, either. You know better than anyone what you can take on. Good luck and have fun!

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