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A Short Story Or a Novel? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

A Short Story Or a Novel?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Oleg Hasanov
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A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby Oleg Hasanov » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:04 am

Lawrence Block says in his books and articles on writing that writing short stories is economically inefficient. He advises to begin with writing a novel first, which is easier to sell. What do you think? As for me, I decided to follow Mr. Block's piece of advice and am currently writing a zombie novel. I have to admit that it's a hard task, but it's a good learning experience.
What don't kill you make you more strong.

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Brien Sz
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby Brien Sz » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:00 am

Write what you want to write... if it becomes a short story, so be it. If you can get a novel out of it, great. I think some of this is all about mindset. I've written on subjects that I believed worked best as short stories and so I now have a series of them rotating around a theme. The short story approach worked for me. When I've had novel ideas, I wrote them as novels. Only once did I think I had an idea that would make for something of a short novella (I was thinking 30-35,000 words) and by the I finished the first draft it came to just under 60K. Just write...

James A. Ritchie
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:33 am


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DrG2
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby DrG2 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:55 pm

It is difficult to make a living writing short stories (unless you are George Saunders or Alice Munro).

It is somewhat easier to make a living writing novels, but you still have to be extremely good to do so.

Let's say you write twenty 5,000 word stories. If you get 5 cents per word, you'll get $5,000.

If you write one 100-120K novel, you might get an advance of $5,000-50,000. And you probably won't outsell your advance.

Damn, someone tell me again why anyone writes?

MatthewTM
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby MatthewTM » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:29 pm

Some self-publishers on Amazon report their short stories can give a better return per word than their novels. If (and a big 'if') that's how you want to publish and promote your stuff.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:20 am


James A. Ritchie
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:53 am


MatthewTM
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby MatthewTM » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:16 pm


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DrG2
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby DrG2 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:21 am


James A. Ritchie
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Re: A Short Story Or a Novel?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:49 am


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