Tuesday, December 6, 2011

thinking about story length

Been mulling over the concept of story length; specifically, the shorter lengths. What are the parameters about short stories, novellas, short novellas, novelettes? In fact, what are those things?

According to Romance Writers of America, novellas are 20k-40k, and novels are longer. (Note that these definitions are specifically for entrants in their RITA awards.)

Harlequin imprint Carina Press uses these definitions: "shorter length stories between 15,000 to 50,000 words, genre novels between 50,000 to 100,000 words and longer and complex narratives of over 100,000 words."

Wikipedia helpfully tells me "a novella is usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel." (Um...)

My opinion is variable. I term it all as such:

short story: up to 15k
novella: 15k-40k
short (or category) novel: 40k-60k
novel: 60k-100k
epic doorstop: 100k+

I like to write longer lengths, mostly because I tend to the verbose side. However, I think learning to write short well is an invaluable lesson in the power of brevity.

What say all ye?

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