They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

  • Mood:

Is This Carrying Things Too Far?

The Length of Things

Different sources use different definitions, but stories of different lengths fall into different categories:

Over 80,000 words - Novel
25,000 to 40,000 words - Novella
12,000 to 20,000 words - Novelette
7,000 to 10,000 words - "Long" Short story
3,000 to 7,000 words - Short story
1,000 to 3,000 words - "Short" Short story
under 500 words - Flash fiction

Sometimes writing workshops use various tricks to get people to write economically -- Jeff Ford had the 2004 Clarion class write a 900-word story (it was originally going to be 800-words, but you know...) and I understand the 2006 Clarion class got to write genre poetry.

A New "Low"?

This weekend I got my new copy of Wired magazine, the November 2006 issue. Flipping through it, I discovered an article on six-word stories. No, honestly! You can see the text of the stories they used, plus some extras, here.

I have to say, being long-winded and long-writed (writed???) -- a wordy sonofabitch -- that I just can't see how to write something that short. I joked to Mrs. Dr. Phil, that a Dr. Phil six-word story would actually take 22 words, have 3 characters and one P.O.V. change... (grin) Unless you want to consider: "War ends. Above God smiled." Damn! I wrote that in FIVE words. Gee, maybe this Clarion training in writing short stories is BEGINNING to take hold. (double-wide-grin)

Of course, even the 33 writers they contacted had to play games with the six-word limit...

Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod

Steve ignores editor's word limit and
- Steven Meretzky


I could pull out my favorites, but you know what? Just jump over to the article or find yourself a nice printed up copy of the November 2006 Wired magazine and enjoy some silly, short and occasionally poignant very short stories.

Dr. Phil
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 4 comments