Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today. This post is short and sweet. (Pun intended.) Let’s talk about short stories.
There are advantages to writing shorter pieces of fiction. Not only does the writing process take less time, but many readers these days have shorter attention spans. There are some who won’t spend the time it takes to read a full-length novel, but they will spend 45 minutes or an hour for a short story. Even avid readers sometimes prefer to read something that takes less time.
The cost of these books is less than longer works, so that’s a big plus for some. And, if you’re in Kindle Unlimited, readers can “borrow” them. (As they can with full-length books who are enrolled in that program.)
Short stories help build your backlist of publications. It’s also beneficial when an author has to wait too long in between the publication of novels. Authors work hard to build their readership. Going too long between new releases can cause some to lose interest.
The average short story is between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Search ten different sources and you’ll likely get ten different answers, but the general consensus is anything above 10K falls into the novelette or novella category. The minimal word count is usually 1,000 words with flash fiction being 500 words or less.
Short stories can be stand-alone works, or they can be included in a collection of works. Many authors choose the latter option. Collections are often a central theme or genre, but they can be mixed genres, including poetry.
Next time, we’re going to talk about a different kind of collection, anthologies.
What are your feelings about short stories? As a writer, is this something you have considered or done? As a reader, do you enjoy reading short pieces of work?