Thursday, April 8, 2010

Short vs. long

Short vs. long, and no I'm not talking about skirts or hair styles, I'm talking about stories.
I received a wonderful email in my inbox this week. My super editor, Lill, (kiss, kiss, kiss), let me know Wild Rose has accepted my short story (as yet untitled). My full length novel "Human with a Twist" comes out in July.

So, back to the original question, long vs. short?
It was very different writing a short story compared to a full length novel; just as it's very different reading one.

As a writer: with a longer story you have more time to develop your characters and their relationship. In a short story you have to find a way of keeping everything believable, but do it in a much shorter space of time. I always think of short stories as stories in a pressure-cooker (up the intensity to finish quicker).

As a reader: One of the things I object to as a reader is that I always want more. My short story is set in the same world as my novel and features a woman from the original novel. Although the short story is completely stand-alone, it means if readers want more, there is more - and a full length novel at that, to help ease the itch for more :)

In my opinion Short stories are very good at two things:
1) giving you a full story if you don't have time to read a novel (e.g. on the bus)
2) giving you a feel for a writer you don't know. For instance at the end of last year I got hooked on Meljean Brooks after reading her short in "must Love Hellhounds".

Anyway, when my short is titled, and has a release date, I'll keep you all posted & I hope you'll give it a try :)
--Louise Delamore


  1. There are benefits to both lengths, which you pretty much covered. I just generally don't care for many of the free reads I find on sites. There's no story. It's just a meeting and I'm left with a feeling of "What was the point of that?" afterward. I mostly read novels, but have come across some great novellas, mostly with TWRP. I've written in both lengths, but find my shorter stories usually have to have a fast pace and a problem that can be resolved in a short amount of time without a massive amount of minute detail or backstory.

  2. I love writing shorts and novellas. I've been doing them for so long now, though, that I really have to gear myself up to get back into novel length work, which is where I started in the first place, lol. Great post!

  3. It takes such talent to know how to finesse a satisfying story into the limited space required for a short/novella without rushing the romance or forcing the plot. Congratulations on finding that perfect balance! And I couldn't agree more about Lill. She's my editor as well and I think she's amazing.

  4. I agree that sometimes shorts do leave you wanting more. It depends on how the author approaches the story. I like when they're tied in to novels, as you describe your stories. Congrats on your short story being accepted! Excellent news!