Please join Prism Book Alliance® in welcoming guest Sunday Spotlight columnist, author Jay Northcote to the blog.
Does Size Matter? Short Stories, Novellas and Novels.:
When I first started writing original fiction I had no clue what made a novel a novel, or how short a story had to be in order to be considered a ‘short story.’ I’d barely even heard of a novella. I had this vague idea that it might be something Victorian, perhaps with a gothic theme? I was very confused by the whole thing.
So in case you’re as bewildered as I was, here is a handy list of length guidelines from the Dreamspinner Press website (different sources give different guidelines but these ones work for me).
Short story: less than 15,000 words
Novella: 15-29,999 words
Long Novella: 30-59,999 words
Novel: 60,000 words and up
By these definitions I’ve published three short stories (Coming Home, First Class Package, and Top Me Maybe?), two novels (The Little Things and Not Just Friends), and the rest of my books fall into the the long novella category. So, it seems that I’m a novella writer – mainly. Does this make me a novellaist? This isn’t something I planned, but when I write I find that I usually end up with something between 30,000 and 45,000 words. I suppose this length of story suits my mainly relationship-focused storylines.
I know that some readers prefer novels so will generally avoid novellas. That’s fair enough, each to their own and all that. Personally I’m not a size queen when it comes to books—quite the opposite in fact. I enjoy short novels as well as novellas, but usually avoid buying anything over 80,000 words unless I have a couple of weeks holiday coming up. I rarely buy short stories, because I like at least 20k to get to know the characters, but I will make exceptions for something with a great blurb, or if it’s written by an auto-buy author.
So, does size matter for you? Or is it what the author does with it that counts?
Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.
When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
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I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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