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Old 05-20-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
crich70
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Which length of fiction?

Which length of fiction do you think is the hardest to write, and why do you think that is? I mean there are short shorts (also known as flash fictions), short stories, novellas, & novels. Not to mention epics. I'm sure each one has its own pro's & cons.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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They all have their own inherent difficulty. Something short has to get attention immediately and convey characters/plots at a very accelerated rate. Something long has to sustain momentum.

In general I would think longer is usually harder for most people, though.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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I like to read and write fiction around the 80-90,000 mark. Find it a struggle to get a story to gel properly in a short story. I've never even considered writing a novella, so can't give a view on that.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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I can't seem to keep my novels below 120K works (except for one written in first person and only 2 POVs which came in at 90k -- and wouldn't you know it, some reviews asked for more detail).
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Which length of fiction do you think is the hardest to write, and why do you think that is? I mean there are short shorts (also known as flash fictions), short stories, novellas, & novels. Not to mention epics. I'm sure each one has its own pro's & cons.
I find this a strange question. I never set out to write a short story, or a novel or whatever. Then again, I just tell stories, and I take as long as I need to tell them to my liking. One of the perks of being an indie, I suppose.

I always miscalculate. About my first story I thought I could tell it in 50,000 words or less — seven to eight chapters. I ended up with sixteen chapters and 90,000 words.
My series "The Invisible Chains" ended up well over 400,000 words.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:39 PM   #6
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They are all equally hard depending on your personal style.

I find it hard to write short stories since all of my stories have multuple subplots and complex and wide ranging main plots. I think minimum for me is Novella or maybe Novllete length (15k-50k words).

Some people find short story the easiest format but to me it's hard to edit down my stories to that point and still accomplish what I want with them.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mcrow24 View Post
They are all equally hard depending on your personal style.

I find it hard to write short stories since all of my stories have multuple subplots and complex and wide ranging main plots. I think minimum for me is Novella or maybe Novllete length (15k-50k words).

Some people find short story the easiest format but to me it's hard to edit down my stories to that point and still accomplish what I want with them.
I agree with M Crow. When I was young I wrote short stories, but always had a problem to keep them short. When I came back to writing, I started with film manuscripts, 90-120 pages target. Never made it.

Now I feel comfortable with novels. I thought my first would be about 100-125k, but it turned out to be 200k. I'm aiming for a shorter novel with #2. I'll be happy with 150k.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:20 AM   #8
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I find this a strange question. I never set out to write a short story, or a novel or whatever. Then again, I just tell stories, and I take as long as I need to tell them to my liking. One of the perks of being an indie, I suppose.

I always miscalculate. About my first story I thought I could tell it in 50,000 words or less — seven to eight chapters. I ended up with sixteen chapters and 90,000 words.
My series "The Invisible Chains" ended up well over 400,000 words.
Why is the question so strange Andrew Ashling? Many authors have started out writing short pieces (Stephen King for one) and moved on to the novel later. And some write shorter works like novella's in between novels in order to keep their name out in the public eye (as far as producing something). Plus many people I would think when first starting out experiment a bit to see which length of story they have less trouble with and which requires more effort. Also some people tend to write long which means either they have to cut or expand what they thought would be a short piece into a full novel. Others find that they write short and have to either accept that a given story is a short story or find believable subplots to build into the storyline.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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Why is the question so strange Andrew Ashling? Many authors have started out writing short pieces (Stephen King for one) and moved on to the novel later. And some write shorter works like novella's in between novels in order to keep their name out in the public eye (as far as producing something). Plus many people I would think when first starting out experiment a bit to see which length of story they have less trouble with and which requires more effort. Also some people tend to write long which means either they have to cut or expand what they thought would be a short piece into a full novel. Others find that they write short and have to either accept that a given story is a short story or find believable subplots to build into the storyline.
I didn't say the question as strange. I said I found it strange. Then I explained why.

That being said, I'm aware of all the examples you give, but it's just not how I write. As I explained in my previous post I began a story which I thought could be told in about 60-70k words. It ended up a trilogy of 400k+ words, and I'm writing a sequel now. I just go with the flow. As such I don't find any length of story more difficult than the other. When you're done, you're done, but not sooner or later. It takes what it takes, but not less or more.

Put in another way: I don't think length should be a primary concern. The story should be, and what length it needs.

If pressed however, I would say the micro short story is the most difficult. You probably know this one by Hemingway:

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He reckoned it was his best piece of writing. I tend to agree.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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I didn't say the question as strange. I said I found it strange. Then I explained why.

That being said, I'm aware of all the examples you give, but it's just not how I write. As I explained in my previous post I began a story which I thought could be told in about 60-70k words. It ended up a trilogy of 400k+ words, and I'm writing a sequel now. I just go with the flow. As such I don't find any length of story more difficult than the other. When you're done, you're done, but not sooner or later. It takes what it takes, but not less or more.

Put in another way: I don't think length should be a primary concern. The story should be, and what length it needs.

If pressed however, I would say the micro short story is the most difficult. You probably know this one by Hemingway:



He reckoned it was his best piece of writing. I tend to agree.
Touche. Hemingway was a master of the written word. There is also the world's shortest horror story (I forget who wrote it).

'The last man on earth sat at his table. There was a knock at the door.'
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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Generally, the tighter the writing the harder to achieve.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #12
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Some stories are hard to write, some are easy. The length isn't much of a factor.

In my own writing, the stories that just flowed, where I wasn't wrestling with the words, are always better.

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Old 06-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #13
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If you read Stephen King's "A Memoir of the Craft" you will find that he never knows how long a story is, until it is done. If you read Orson Scott Card's equivalent, he can tell you fairly well the length before he starts because he has summarized, outlined, and planed it all out well before writing the first word.

I find myself to write more like Mr. King then Mr. Card. So I sit down and write till the story is told, generally that is in the 80-90k word range. I find that is the easiest length for me to hit.

So I think its more a matter of style, then difficulty.
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