One of the shortest stories ever told, according to most people, was said by Earnest Hemingway. The story goes that Hemingway makes a bet with a group of people that he could make them cry with only six words in a story. The story, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” It is rumored that he won the bet with those six words. In more recent times, there have been challenges for people to write the shortest story that they can, with a maximum word count of 25. There are people that can easily achieve it. With just a couple short sentences, they can make you think enough to fill in the rest of the blanks. One example of this is “’I love how you look tonight,” he said while gripping his binoculars.” Even though there is no name, no faces, you still sense his loneliness and desire. These things are what makes a short story stand out.
Writing a Short Story
There are a lot of tips available for creating stories. They include things like:
*Point of View
However, when you are writing a short story, you do not always have time to put all of those details into it, but it depends on how many words you want the story to be. A setting could be a lonely house, the character could be someone who is dealing with an inner turmoil or hearing scary sounds. What does she find when she opens the door? What does she do about it? Are you telling her story or is she the one telling it? If you plan your sentences carefully, you could tell an entire story in 100 words, but it must be complete if you want it to delight your readers.
Short Story Lengths
Some say that a short story length is only important if it tells the entire story. Others say it depends on the type of short story you are writing. Anything up to 100 words is considered “Micro-Fiction”. Stories that are “Flash Fiction” range from 100-1000 words. True short stories are between 1,000-7,500 words and novelettes are up to 20,000 words. Word counts continuously go up from there, though it isn’t often that you will find anything in a single book that is longer than 110,000 words. If it goes above this word count, most authors will divide it up into sequels so that a potential reader does not feel overwhelmed by holding a single, massive-sized book.
One thing to keep in mind though is that the numbers are not set in stone. There are some who say that a short story should never be more than 30,000 words and that anything above that would be a novella instead. Therefore, if you decide to write your story, you should talk to your publisher about their preferred length or their requirements for a true short story. It may be that they do not have rules about the story length, but they want for your story to have a definite story line that is enjoyable. Either way, it will be fun for you to finally be able to tell your story, the way you want to tell it.