WriterDojo S1 Ep19: Long vs Short Fiction

Hosts/Authors Steve Diamond and Larry Correia take time this week to contrast Long Fiction vs Short Fiction and discuss the Pros and Cons of each. (Also, this is the final episode of Season One! How crazy is that? We’ve got some great things planned for Season 2, so stay tuned!)

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Dead Girl by Craig Nybo

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WriterDojo S2 Ep1: Resolutions
WriterDojo S1 EP18 : a rising tide lifts all boats

9 thoughts on “WriterDojo S1 Ep19: Long vs Short Fiction”

  1. 19 episodes in a season? How’d you get to such an odd number?

    As for “don’t be the worst story”, I think Steve succeeded there in Monster Hunter Files since he did not write The Manticore Section. This comment is also applicable to the response to the bit about the difficulty establishing stuff in short stories since I got lost in that one (a 25 page short story!) so many times I didn’t finish it.

  2. Word counts per page.
    250 words/page is called Typesetters’ Count. Typesetters’ Count makes conversion easy: 1,000 words = 4 pages.

    Paperback Count is 325 words/page. (Or 375. I do not use Paperback Count so I tend to be fuzzy on it.) This appears to be the count that Amazon uses. As I recall, Eric Flint counts 375 words/page.

  3. I have a theory that each writer has a natural length. That is, some writers are better at short stories than they are at novels. For instance, IMO Robert Heinlein wrote outstanding short stories; his novels were excellent but not as good as his short works. Robert Silverberg is best at novella length.

    I find that my best length is novella — 25,000 words +/- 10,000. What to do with that?

    Fortunately for me, Joe Haldeman, All My Sins Remembered, showed the way. Haldeman took two novellas; wrote a third; and added interludes, a prologue, and an epilogue to create a novel. Works for me.

  4. Steve and Larry, I really like both your stories in Noir Fatale
    but the one I keep going back to is “Worth the Scars of Dying” by Patrick M. Tracy.
    Talk about building a world out of nothing and then running with it. There should be more coffee shops like this one =)

    1. IIRC Robert Silverberg said that he made a living writing short stories in the 50s. He wrote everything — science fiction, romance, mystery, westerns, children’s stories.

  5. Loving it as usual. I have to say Larry is actually who got me writing short ficition. I got about 30,000 words into a novel and then realized “what if this sucks? How would I know” I then read the article from the “Best of MHN” where Larry references “polishing a turd” (I think the one about the person talking about crafting the perfect book through a million revisions rather than publishing a lot). It made me realize my question was legit, so I decided to do short fiction so I could get quick feedback on “do I suck or not?” Turned out that was wise, as I did suck based on the number of rejections I have thus far.

    1. I’d be very interested in that too. Just in the very limited amount I’ve written so far I think I’ve run into sports where no amount of polishing was going to make a story much better, and spots where I simply don’t have the skills yet as a writer to make the segment all it could be.

      I wonder if there’s some kind of middle ground?

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