Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Story Length

Ask any writer how they determine whether their story is a short story, novella, or short or long novel, and you'll get as many different answers as there are authors. I found the same thing when I researched publishers and writing competitions, to see if I could get a standard word count for different breaking points. No consistency anywhere in the publishing industry.

So, what's a writer to do when nobody agrees? Create their own! What else? I took the huge variations I found and formulated a standard I use for my own work, so I can be consistent in what I classify a story as. For anyone who is interested in knowing what to expect from my work, here goes:

Under 1,000 words - super short (I only have one of these and it's posted for free on this blog)
1-2K - short short story
2-13K - short story
13-20K - novelette
20-41K - novella
41-65K - short novel
65-85K - novel (I don't have anything this length yet)
85K+ - long novel

I use this standard, regardless of genre. I don't use different standards for different genres, to keep my life as simple as possible. Life's challenging enough without my complicating it unnecessarily.

I publish most of my stories in e-book format, individually as well as in collections where applicable. Everything is also published in paperback, though short stories are always grouped into collections since they are too short to warrant paperbacks of their own.