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Shift from short stories to novels and vice versa?

 
words.worth
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How do you switch from one form of writing to another? I have thought about writing a short story for a while but haven’t able to do so. I am probably used to writing novels.

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Topic starter Posted : 15/12/2020 4:08 pm
Nancymac
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I write stories for web content and also record stories for other artists, also my own work so it can be contracted as to the needs of the project.

I also find we have a niche that we like to use or a theme for a story, so is it like a given plot, time, and place.

Writing a novel or longer length, takes time and it is also might be if you have a source of income that can sustain you to work at a longer piece of writing.

Also if you are an accomplished artist, do you have a publishing company that you write for? or being commissioned to write.

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Posted : 16/12/2020 5:56 pm
Junamo
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Write what you are inspired to do. I Tend to write multiple short stories when I'm not making progress on my main story. I think of writing as a muscle, and writing more is just training it!

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Posted : 18/12/2020 2:50 pm
words.worth
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Posted by: @junamo

Write what you are inspired to do. I Tend to write multiple short stories when I'm not making progress on my main story. I think of writing as a muscle, and writing more is just training it!

This is a good point. I will try to write short stories based on something that I want to write about but unable to improvise in the novel. It will give me creative satisfaction as well as I might sell it as a separate piece of work (once I have enough short stories).

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Topic starter Posted : 19/12/2020 6:04 pm
Junamo
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Posted by: @words-worth
Posted by: @junamo

Write what you are inspired to do. I Tend to write multiple short stories when I'm not making progress on my main story. I think of writing as a muscle, and writing more is just training it!

This is a good point. I will try to write short stories based on something that I want to write about but unable to improvise in the novel. It will give me creative satisfaction as well as I might sell it as a separate piece of work (once I have enough short stories).

Yes! You could take a side character, pick a random time (5 years before the story, 5 years after the story etc) and write what the character was doing at this time! You could also write short stories of an entirely different universe

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Posted : 21/12/2020 7:35 pm
Elly
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Mary Robinette Kowal wrote a formula for it. The length of the story is equal to the number of characters plus the number of scenic locations, multiplied by 750 words, multiplied by the thematic quotient (of narrative elements as outlined by the controversial Orson Scott Card: Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event) and the result of all that is divided by 1.5.

So, if there are more than two or three named characters with personalities and backstories, then the story they're in has a greater risk of becoming a novella instead of a short story. If it's not in "one act" or different scenes in only one location, it also risks going over the maximum word count of a short story if there are more scenes in different locations. 

 

Without the complicated mathematical-looking algebraic formula, I think that short stories have more simple and self-contained emotional journeys. It can have high concepts and complexity, but between the lines and in a subtle way. Novels can be simple, but I only hear novels described as simple when people are complaining about it: "123,378 words, and most of it was describing a vase!" (Atonement by Ian McEwan. I watched the movie, there was definitely more going on, but the pacing might have been not to the complainer's liking.) "In Seach of Lost Time? I lost my time by reading that awful book!" (The author being Marcel Proust.)

If there's high concepts and complexity that comes out, not between the lines, but in actual events of the book and multiple characters...then, that's probably a novel.   

If it's simple, with a small cast, not many different places to visit through the story, and has only a pop of emotion...then, that's probably a novel. 

I can sympathize with trying to think of a flash fiction concept, but then "overthinking it" or maybe more like getting inspired by it so much that it becomes longer than flash fiction because the concept snowballed. I prefer to write short stories because I like the satisfaction of having finished something, but sometimes the way I think gets in the way of what I prefer.   

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Posted : 27/12/2020 7:03 am
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