View Full Version : Short Story Qualifications?
February 17th, 2005, 03:24 PM
What do short stories require to be a shortstory, or is it as simple as the name?
February 17th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Are you writing short stories for a class? For a magazine? For yourself?
It depends on what you are writing it for because sometimes there will be requirements on the length (classes and magazines) but otherwise there is nothing to separate it from any other type of writing.
Just keep in mind that because your short story is, short, you need to get to the point moreso than in a novel.
February 17th, 2005, 07:49 PM
I dont want a short story, I want to create at least a 250 page book but I dont want to over do it either and I feel if I try to stretch the story to fill in that goal it will get well over shot.
February 17th, 2005, 08:10 PM
For the Nebula Awards, the SFWA (http://www.sfwa.org/) says:
A short story as being under 7,500 words.
A Novelette is between 7,500 to 17,499 words.
A Novella is between 17,500 to 39,999 words.
A Novel is 40,000 words and up.
Other people will tell you a short story is anything under 10,000 to 15,000 words.
Flash Fiction are stories under 1000 words (many are under 500).
If you're writing a 250 page book, I don't think you need to worry that someone might think you've written a short story.
February 17th, 2005, 08:12 PM
Most books I read in school are between 250-287 pages long so i thought to make a good book as good as that I need to atleast do the same.
February 17th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Don't worry about how long your book is going to be. Just write!
There's going to be a difference between the number of manuscript pages you submit to a publisher and the number of pages in an actual book - "YOUR MILAGE MAY VARY".
February 17th, 2005, 08:34 PM
I was never good with short stories :D Infact, the first one I'd ever completed was over 220 pages long. But the estimations Expendable posted were what I'd always pictured.
I don't think you'll have any problem writing your book that long. I've noticed that when you just let things flow when you write, you tend to write more than you think. I've used a whole page just explaining one day, or just explaining a thought. If you don't over-do what you write it almost always turns out good. The trick is figuring out which details in your story matter enough. But if your voice in your writing is to explain in good detail than by all means DO IT!! :D Gut instincts are always good. Listen to your voice :)
Personally I always liked longer books because of the extensive detail. It might just be the short stories I've read, but I tend to be left with too many questions.
So good luck! :)
February 17th, 2005, 08:38 PM
One interesting definition of "short story" that my high school English teacher gave us is that, unlike a novel, short stories have no character development. I'm sure that there are thousands of short stories that refute this, but it does often hold true, as well. Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" was the example that he gave. That story is of a length that one would usually associate with a novel, yet there isn't any character development.
A definition based on the number of words is much more practical and useful, but my English teacher's definition is something that I have considered when structuring short stories.
February 17th, 2005, 08:53 PM
Silly teacher. If character development is integral to the story then that character develops.
Things happen in short stories and they happen fast because they have to get to "satisfying" the reader faster. Less important things may be left as assumed. Often my characters go from "blase" to "I wish I hadn't been so greedy" to "dead" in 500 words. That's a lot of character development in three minutes of reading.
They have different names for short literature where nothing happens.
February 17th, 2005, 08:55 PM
Yes, I have a book called Rowan and the Ice Creepers, it says nothing about having another book before it or after and they dont describe nothing except feeling.
The only concept I got of the characters were of Rowan in a picture on the book and it left me veyr frustrated.
But this book is somewhere in 250-300 pages.
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