Story Length

A lot of what I write ends up being short stories. In fact, at this moment, if you want to pay money for my writing you can only buy short fiction.

Of course that’s due to time. It took me a month to write the first draft of A Long Walk, and it took me a lot longer to get it finished, and ready for print. In fact it isn’t quite there yet (although it should be by the time this post hits the web, next week).

By contrast, my short story Nine was written in two days, edited in one, and released the next day. Rachel took about the same, but I spent a bit of extra time on it due to the photos.

I’m working on a longer short story right now, but I expect it to take less than a full week, and be a bit under 10,000 words.

So, clearly, it’s a hell of a lot faster to write a short story than a novel, and since I write something every day, I finish short stories.

There is something very, very satisfying about short stories… not just the finishing a piece of work satisfying. Because they are so short you have to have a tight, compact plot. No rambling on for days, just get straight to the point. It makes for a satisfying read.

When I started writing, not in earnest, just the sort of faint stabs I took at it long ago, I thought I had to write novels. See, I wanted to get published, and since short story anthologies don’t take up much shelf space I though that if I wanted to be a real writer, it had to be books. Once I found self publishing though, I realized that there are no rules, not really.

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