View Full Version : Long short story, or short novel?? OR what?

May 16th, 2012, 04:40 AM
What do we do with a 20,000 word story?

Seems too long for traditional publishers - short story - but not long enough for a novel, maybe short for novella.

So, any hints for traditional publishers that will look at this length fiction.

Tells a whole story and needs all the words, not shorter, but might drag out if longer.

I feel a bit stuck here ... search the web, and get nothing that appeals to me, and do not want to self-publish.

Jon M
May 16th, 2012, 05:30 PM
It's a novella, and novellas typically are difficult to publish (or so I've read). So you either revise it until the story is the best it can possibly be and submit it to a trad. publisher, or self-pub., make the story more complex, or (and this is what I'd probably do) set it aside to be included in a collection of other novellas / short stories (thinking of Steinbeck's The Red Pony here).

May 15th, 2013, 06:20 AM
I couldn't agree more with Jon M on the notion of setting it aside, and releasing it to the public as a collection. I think that would benefit you the best, because I'd assume that you already revised to your heart's content and 20,000 words is the finished product. You don't want to suck a story dry to make it longer and you don't want to eliminate important events to make it shorter.

May 15th, 2013, 11:47 PM
I also have to agree. If you want to traditionally publish the story then put it in a book with other stories and try to submit it that way. It's my understanding that novellas are typically published by known authors when traditionally done.

If you feel the story is perfect at this length then I wouldn't try to make it shorter or longer. Adding it to something else is the only thing I can think of.


May 23rd, 2013, 08:18 PM
Put another few similar-length stories alongside it, slightly related, and you have a nice 80,000 word book, and the beginnings of a USP.

July 14th, 2013, 06:02 AM
A novella is on the edge, not exactly a short story and not long enough to be a novel. I think any thing under 30,000 words would be hard to get published by itself.

Keynine Lox
July 16th, 2013, 05:02 AM
Uh..exactly how many pages are 20.000 words?
(Cause i'm a stranger and we adopt the other method. Characters. 2000 Characters form 1 page. Words are too random for make a precise calculation)
They are 100-150 pages, right?
I think is a bit short for be a book. Like others say, side stories and very long descriptions (not boring. only long) help to make your work growing.
If you have 250-300 pages I think you are safe.
Is never too late for a review. Be brave and good luck.