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Old 10-10-2010, 12:56 AM   #16
LoveReading
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
The short story is my favorite form - classics, mainstream, science fiction, etc...

Frost and Fire by Ray Bradbury is my favorite SF short story...but I'm thinking "Rescue Party" by Arthur C Clarke may be edging it out.

My current favorite contemporary short story is "Wild Horses" by Rick Bass -- he's an amazing writer.

Markets for short stories are much more limited than they were in the past, many web-based publications these days and many fewer print pubs.

My advice is that if you write them or want to write them to just get with it, start sending them out and at some point in the future collect them into volumes.
I like Ray Bradbury also. I'll check out "Wild Horses". You are correct about "collecting" them. Thanks
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:45 AM   #17
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Interesting topic. I can think of a few more questions about short stories.
1) How many short stories should be in an average length anthology?
2) What is a good average length for a short story now days?
3) What genre of short story anthology seem to do best?
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:19 AM   #18
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The total number of stories I believe depends on what the purpose and focus of your book is. For my dreamland articles I chose 12 each as a nice healthy number since they were all small stories of about 12 pages each. hehe. Sort of a math puzzle of sorts. Plus it sounded about right. However, with my Dark Years Chronicles, the total number of stories in each was only about 3-4 due to their larger, almost novelette size. Some people have put as many as 30 into an anthology. So there's really no "rule" persay for how many go into a book.

Take this example for instance. Did you know that "Gone with the Wind" isn't actually a novel, but is instead a short story anthology? I read somewhere that the book itself is comprised of some 30-50 short stories that stitch together neatly to form a larger story. So in the end, I would simply look at all the stories you want to put into the book, decide on what grouping of them would be the best, and go with that, regardless of the number that you come up with. The only thing I caution you on is pagecount. When we originally released my Dreamland Articles, it was only 125 pages. In hind site, if I were to do it again, I'd probably expand the stories in it a bit more if I wanted to keep the same story count, or else I'd have to add about another half dozen in order to fill out the book a bit better and make it more appealing visually. Well, at least in the paperback version, although page count does still affect people's buying habits when it comes to ebooks too.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:31 PM   #19
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Depends on your definition of 'short story'. Are we talking 1000 words, 10000, 20000?

My best-selling book on Amazon is a 'novelette' - 10 000 words.

From what I've seen, more 'occasional reader' types are starting to read on their mobile phones and other devices, and so the market for shorter works is increasing. But sites like these tend to be weighted with reading-addicted types, and I suspect that the more a person reads, the more likely they are to buy longer books.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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I have a bunch of short stories that I'm thinking of putting into their own ebook. I was wondering, how long does the whole thing have to be? Plus, can short stories be three or 4 pages, while another one is 30 or 40? What's the standard?
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:50 AM   #21
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A story is like a piece of string, it should be long enough to do the job.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #22
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I believe a collection of short stories made into a book -- usually with some sort of binding theme -- would work best.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:28 PM   #23
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When I'm writing short stories, I always set a rule for myself that the story must equal no less than 4 pages in paragraph format, or 6 pages in print format. If it's less than that, then I haven't done enough and it needs more work. However, if it exceeds 12 pages in paragraph format, then it's considered too long to qualify for "short story" status.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:18 PM   #24
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Thanks Steve and Kenny,
I swear that I sent a reply to both of you and don't see it! Am I brain damaged... maybe it's VISTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Am I the only one that hates it! I'm asking Santa Claus for a new laptop with Windows!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:01 PM   #25
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #26
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveReading View Post
Camille,
Thank you SO much for all the information. It was very helpful. Are the last three yours? If so, I will check them out.
Thanks again.
Pamela
Hi, Pamela,

I've been away for a little bit and didn't read this until now. I assume by "last three" you mean the books in my sig? Yes, those are mine. Thank you for checking them out!

BTW - very short stories (shorter than Steven's rules) are a specialty of some people. It's usually called "flash fiction" or "short shorts." There are a number of markets for them, although most don't pay. However, people who are fans of the form are very enthusiastic.

They tend to be literary or horror, but most are open to other genres. (Quick twist stories are the specialty. I think of them as "instant Hitchcock episode" stories.) There are a few big paying markets for these too - but the competition is fierce. (Woman's World is one, although I think they stopped buying the very short mysteries and now only buy "solve it yourself" or romances which are slightly longer.)

I'm planning on writing a bunch of flash fiction during NaNoWritMo - not to publish myself, but to publish out in the world to get my name out there more.

Camille
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:36 PM   #28
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I'm a fan of the short story (and novella) form. I'd rather have them collected in a volume, just for budget reasons, but I've bought a few singles, too, if they sounded good.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:57 PM   #29
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That's interesting that you bring up the idea of novella in digests since that's exactly what I'm doing with my Dark Years Chronicles. IE, 3-4 stories, all about Novella size in each volume. I expect each volume to run about 80-90k words because of that.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:58 AM   #30
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Rex Stout published a LOT of his Nero Wolfe stories as collections of novellas. Usually three to a book, sometimes four. They were a really great length, and were always my favorites when I could find them.

I always wished publishers would do more of that. (I plan to try that with something I want to write next summer if I get the chance.)

Camille
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