Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[process] How long is a short story, anyway

My brother asked me in an email today about story lengths. I told him that in speculative fiction, 4,000 words is the "sweet spot" for short fiction, and anything much above 20,000 words is virtually unsellable.

I also sent him this handy reference table:

Flash<500 words

Short-short<1000 words

Short<7,500 words

Novelette<17,500 words

Novella<40,000 words

Short novel<80,000 words

Novel<200,000 words

Doorstop<400,000 words

Wall-eyed insanity>400,000 words


Feel free to offer corrections or comments. Y'all are usually so shy about that sort of thing.
Tags: family, process, writing
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