Short Story, Novelette, Novella and Novel

Short Story, Novelette, Novella and Novel, as an aspiring writer it pays to know the difference between the different types reading material for whatever it is that you are writing. Short Story, Novelette, Novella and Novel ~ each can play havoc with your expenses, especially if you’re looking for editing services.

I’m one of those flies by the seat of your pants writers, so when I focus on a plot ~ I just go write and go wherever my mind takes me until I’ve exhausted the theme. Unfortunately, I’ve tried three times to write a short story and failed each time. This is after I’ve trim lined the text, reconstructed sentences and cut out scenes. One of these days I’ll hit it on the head but so far all I’ve been able to come up with are Novels.

Most readers think of books in terms of page count, but depending on the font and the size of your text the printed word that could range anywhere between 150 to 875 words on a page. So just using page count is not the most accurate way to measure the length of your work. A more accurate range of measurement as a standardized method would be word count. The publishing industry has been the only driving force in determining the standardized manuscript measurement to be 250 words per page. Now we as Indie Publishers have managed to work outside of the proverbial box and in doing so have created and resurrected variations of style. 21st Century ~ Ebooks, Mass market paperbacks, Trade paperbacks and Hardbacks word count varying all over the place. 

Length Variations as per Gendre

Science Fiction Writers of America ~ Nebula Award Standard:

  1. Short fiction ~ under 7,500 words
  2. Novelette ~ 7,500-17,500 words
  3. Novella ~ 17,500-40,000 words
  4. Novel ~ 40,000 words and up 

Short Mystery Fiction Society ~ Derringer Award Standard:

  1. Flash story ~ Not more than 1000 words
  2. Short story ~ 1001 – 4000 words
  3. Long short story ~ 4001-8000 words
  4. Novelette ~ 8001-17,500 words

So when I’m looking for a Proofreader/Editor, I make sure to let them know beforehand what they will be editing. There are different prices for each type of book that you are writing. Don’t let them box you into a generalized category, search for a quote that reflects your length of work.

The best measure of length is word count, authors should start placing word count in the descriptions of their stories, it will help readers to determine whether they have time to invest in the reading not to mention make Short Story, Novelette, Novella and Novel household names in the world of the reading and writing.