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November 6, 2012
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short stores v novels

:iconanovoca:
Anovoca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
In my experience so far (which is nothing compared to most of you) I am finding it far more difficult to formulate ideas, format, and begin to write a short story than a 50,000 word novel. I am curious if this experience has been the same for most of you and your thoughts on why that is. Shouldn't the ability to write novels translate in the ability to write short stories and vise versa? For those of you that primarily write short stories and consider themselves naturals at that art form, how much time do you put in to time lines, and characterizations before sitting down to write?

Secondly, do any of you find one genre of story harder to write than others? i.e. children's stories vs. horror
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:iconbenevolenthellion:
BenevolentHellion Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I am writing a novel right now and have a whole universe set out for it, but I only managed to work out all the kinks of my fictional reality my writing a selection of non-cannon short stories.

When ever I do something creative I layer it so a short store begins as a pre-draft then gets rewritten into a first draft and so on, with my novel I am doing very much the same process except I am writing and splicing many already completed short stories together. Its all the means to a greater end to me.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I suck at writing short stories. They usually end up as character studies and drabbles rather than stories with a beginning, middle and end. :P
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:iconanovoca:
Anovoca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
:lol:
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:saddummy: For some reason I hate reading stories like that.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
that's why you plan. but that all depends on what you want to do, if you want to write them at all. i find them way more satisfying to write because i can bust one out and post it and loads of people will read it. no one reads my novels.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just usually can't shrink it down enough for it to be considered a short story. They sound quick and rushed. :P

I agree that short stories are much easier to just pick up and read. Sometimes it's hard to sit down through a whole book, especially if you read slowly.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
you can't do it yet. this takes practice if you want to learn how to do it well. if not, then... pft.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But practice takes longer

I want to get better now :noes:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
yeahno

doesn't work that way, sorry.
it took me eight years of steady writing to get where i am and i still have a lot to learn.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awwww

Wellp, better get started then :shifty:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
sweet.
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:iconmyikap:
myikap Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Short stories Vs. Novels, novels are harder than short stories because you don't have to think so much about stuff. Like characters, settings, emotions you can just wing the whole story but Novels are way different. Novels, you have to focus on plots, settings, and characters some find this seriously hard.
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:iconanovoca:
Anovoca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
Idk I think that is why I do like novel. I have a story board laid out y the yime I start and then its just painting the scenery from there to the end. When I ever do decide on a short story I pretty much have one character figured out and only really know how the story will end. I end up limping along hoping the story will be remoytley gripping enough to keep the reader moving along until they get to read my ending.
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:iconmyikap:
myikap Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
All the short stories I have read so far are always really awesome.Their usually very detailed so I guess that's what makes it interesting.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012   Writer
and you think they got that way because the writer didn't "think so much about stuff"?! get real, kid. get GDamn real.
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:iconytcyberpunk:
YTcyberpunk Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I enjoy writing long stories with chapters ("novels," essentially), but usually hate short stories. On a rare occasion I'll write one and like it. But for the most part, I find it extremely difficult to condense a story idea into ten pages or less. Granted, some "short" stories can be 20 or 30 pages, so that I could get into...but the type they had us write in school, or enter in story contests, I never did well, and am not proud of any of them.
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:iconanovoca:
Anovoca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
Yeah I am way too critical of my short stories. I think part of it is that it is much easier to recover from weak points in a novel when you know you have more chapters left to go. Short stories loose interest they just crash and burn.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
Short stories loose interest they just crash and burn.

well, if anything is done poorly it'll crash and burn. at least a short story is short.
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:iconfisherella:
Fisherella Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
I have trouble writing children's stories because my mind is not safe for children, at all!
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:iconfisherella:
Fisherella Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
Everything I write starts out as a short story. Some grow into novels.
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:iconbalaria:
Balaria Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Novels seems to come easier for me. I have trouble writing anything under 1000 words in length.

That being said, I can do both and a short story is easy(relatively speaking) once I have the idea for it. The problem is getting that good idea that can be told in a short enough piece since most that I have are in the 100,000+ word range.
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:iconanovoca:
Anovoca Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
I think I am in this boat mostly. My head is swimming with story lines but rarely does one come up that I think could be written short without losing too much.
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:iconsomnolent-droid:
Somnolent-Droid Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
Well I've hardly written any literature at all, just poems, so from my own perspective I can't really comment.

However, I have a Kindle and I noticed that if I listed the different novels by length, then works by the same author were often still largely grouped together. To take obvious two extremes, most of Lovecraft's novels were very short, and Charles Dickens' were really long. I noticed this trend with a lot of the authors on my Kindle. It just seems that many authors have a length of work that comes naturally to them.

Anyway, that's as far as my theory goes...
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I don't have trouble writing short stories. I mean I can write a short story, it's just that I don't write many of them. I work on novels most of the time and I'm more focused on doing that than say writing short stories. I'm sure the amount of time I spent on a novel, I've could have written at least ten short stories to my liking. I use to think they were harder but now they are like a novel but shorter. I don't think on smaller terms most of the time. Rarely do I get an idea that I intend on it being a short story.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
both are easy for me and are rarely a struggle. planning sets me free each and every time and doesn't compromise creativity or quality. planning allows me to know where my story is going at all times with the ability to modify it along the way as long as it comes together at the end.

how much time to i put into time lines? i don't, what do you mean by time line?

i have what i call a "waiting room" of characters to draw from. making characters is also easy and rarely a struggle for me as well. i ran a workshop on this a few months ago.

/i've been writing for 30-odd years, bear with my priceless thoughts for a moment

if a genre is hard to write, you can learn how to write it so it is easier as you practice. if a genre is still too hard after your continuing education and practice, ask yourself why you want to write that genre and if it's worth the hassle. i'm currently diving into some in-depth studies about classic methods and formulas for writing hard-boiled detective stories but with a 21st century update. i don't write for genres that don't interest me.

i couldn't tell you why you're having difficulty. practice more. short stories can be either vignettes (one-shot scenes) or full stories with complete arc. they can be more difficult when you are limited by word count but again, practice. patience. and more practice.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
I guess I can see why you'd think the ability to write one should translate easily to the other. Either way, it's storytelling in the written word, right? But that's assuming that there aren't substantial difference in length and scope, which there are.

I've gone between both, but my heart and my brain are stuck on novels. Short stories are tougher to develop because I tend towards expansion, and usually the problems that arise can't be resolved quickly or succinctly. Short stories tend to develop from simple problems without too many complications. As such, they never require the same level of development or contextualization. What development/contextualization there is has to be very very succinct, but the story of course has to match that.
Maybe the better way to explain this is that a novel or a short story for me depends on how long time it takes to arrive at the problem or conflict. If I can locate it quickly and solve it w/little time/effort, then it's a short story. If it takes a while to locate and lots of time to solve, then it's a novel.
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think I'd ever be able to do a full novel. It would end up being dialogue hell.

And I only have experience doing crime action dramas.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Over time, I've found it easier and easier to come up with a plot that will fit into my desired length. :B I mean, I've had times when the story I wanted to tell wasn't gonna be a 500 word baby, but my comfort zone is somewhere between 1000-5000 words.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm the same way. I think the main reason is that with novels, you have those 50,000+ words to extend your story and convey it; time to build your characters and the plot. With short stories, it's the same idea of a novel, but you've got to get it in much quicker. It's like writing a novel but cutting all the meat out and getting right to the point, yet, at the same time, leaving enough to engage the reader and make it a complete story. I think that's where my issue comes in. I just like to write, write, write and can't sum things up quickly :lol:
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