Short Fiction

Short fiction is any fiction that isn’t a novel. I know you think that isn’t very helpful. I know. Short fiction can vary from a single sentence to what isn’t a novel. So, you ask, what’s a novel. Unfortunately, my answer is, anything that isn’t short fiction. Fiction is a continuum. We define novels by their length, but the story isn’t confined to one of those. Think of it this way, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a single story. It’s three books, but one story. The stost took three books to tell.

OK, I know I confused you. I’ll try to explain. Some stories can be six words long. These stories are hard to write. You need to put a beginning, middle, including conflice, and in six words. The middle must have some kind of conflict. This is a six-word story: War came, he left, didn’t return. It’s not a particularly good story, but it is a story.

Next up is the dribble, which is a story told in fifty words. After that, you get the drabble which is a story told in a hundred words.

Microfiction aka, nanofiction is a story told in three hundred words or less. This form includes the drabble, dribble and six-word stories. Postcard stories are stories that you could write and send to someone on a postcard. It can be as much as five hundred words and as little as two hundred fifty words. This form often includes a image that relates to the text.

Sudden fiction is also know as short short stories. These are stories that are around seven hundred fifty to a thousand words. As often happens, though, some people put works that are up to two thousand words into this category. Microfiction and sudden fiction are collectively called flash fiction. Flash fiction doesn’t have a set length, but is usually a thousand words or less.

Now we come to the short story which is a story written in a thousand to seventy-five hundred words. These are the stories you find in collections, anthologies, or magazines. Novellets are stories that are seventy-five hundred to twenty thousand words. If the story is longer than twenty thousand but less than fifty thousand words, we call it a novella. It’s closer to a novel but written in a more concise fashion.

Remember, no matter what we call the work, if it’s fiction, it’s a story. It’s the story we want to tell. How many words you use is your choice and only your choice. If you want to write well, challenge yourself. Try experimenting with the shorter forms of fiction. You might find it satisfying to write drabbles. Sometimes the shorter the fiction, the harder it is to write. Take the challenge and try one of the shorter forms. Have fun with them and keep writing


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in General Opinion, Writing Techniques

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 248 other subscribers
© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: