What a short story is…

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Writing Advice

What is a Short Story?

A tale of no great length, with the potential for eminent depth and insight. Yes, I made that up, but I believe it to be true. I used to be of the opinion that short stories were inferior to novels, so much so that they didn’t warrant reading. As with so many opinions, this was formed through hearsay and ignorance. It’s like people who don’t stay in Uniben campus and saying food-court  is rubbish – it’s so untrue it deserves punishment. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to become informed and change my mind.

what is a short story

Although I still prefer longer tales, by reading and writing lots of short stories, I’ve found a new respect for the format. There is so much that can be achieved using a few thousand words. And the standards of short story writing seem to be constantly improving.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about the history and origins of short stories and the definition of a short story on Wikipedia.

  1. Ritu says:

    I have started a ‘novel’ length book before, and it’s still hanging in 13,000 word limbo as I haven’t had the time to get back into it, but one other I started, could be more short story.. What length is a short story, and when does it progress to a novelette?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fictionlimbo says:

    A short story ranges mostly under a 7,500 word count and above 3,000 words… a novelette on the other hand starts from 7,500 and has a range peak of 17,500. As you can see, you have to make up a word count of at least 40,000 words to be in the ‘novel’ length range….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sonniq says:

    The chapters of the book I’m writing http://mynameisjamie.net/2015/02/26/insideout-chapter-nightmares/ ( one chapter) could almost stand alone. The chapters are not in an order yet because each chapter is about a particular issue rather than going from point a to point b. When I am done with all the chapters then I will see how best to arrange them in the best order. I think, though that since they have a beginning, middle, and end that some could actually be like a short story.

    Liked by 1 person

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