1. Razortooth

    Razortooth Member

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    Short Story scene and time definitions

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Razortooth, Jun 26, 2017.

    So I am currently working on some short stories that are not the usual single location stories and are fairly lengthy but not novellas. Does anyone consider a short story that has traveling through multiple locations and jumping ahead days at a time to be too convoluted for a short story and possibly missing the point of a short medium?
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Naw, it's all about word count. So long as the story makes sense you're all good.
     
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  3. Razortooth

    Razortooth Member

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    That's what I was thinking, there wouldn't be a dramatic leap from any location or time but it would certainly be epistolary as the MC is slowly discovering things about another character over time.
     
  4. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    What @Homer Potvin says . I'd say it can be as girthy as you wish. It's the length that matters. Also, it's surprising what can be edited out/reworded if you overrun. I've bashed 7500 words into 5000 and been hard-pressed a few weeks later to recall what I omitted.

    ^ good practice too (trains one to be concise).
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Interesting. In many of my short stories the present narrative is set in a single location. The "traveling" is done in flashbacks. I am wondering if the OP is talking about setting relocation in the present narrative. But I have done stories where the characters actually move/switch locations in the present narrative as well. I wouldn't say the majority of short stories are single-location stories. I've noticed a trend in reading contemporary short stories in the literary journal that it seems popular to switch up the location somewhere in the last third of the story. That's just based on my personal sampling of the short story scene. Anyone else notice this?
     
  6. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
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    I do this too. Longer shorts are very publishable. The markets are a little different, but they're there. You shouldn't hold back unless you have a specific market in mind. If that's the case, just make sure the number of scenes is kept in check. You have to understand your story before you start of course. Just look at the markets you're aiming for and really see what the lengths are.

    Looking at my favorite horror anthology (Datlow's "The Year's Best Horror"): 8800, 4900, 4300, 9500, 4700, 4200, 4200, 5100, 9400, 2500, 5100, 8000 . . .

    (That's enough of those. . .) Only one of the first dozen fits the advice of "3000 words is an average short."

    I think sometimes being online encourages artificial constraints, and those are best ignored. So just examine your markets and then count up your planned scenes (maybe adjusting for if they feel long or short) and see where you'll land.
     
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  7. Siena

    Siena Senior Member

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    No. Not at all.
     

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