Art of the Novella

What We Talk About When We Try To Talk About What To Call The Stuff We Write: Notes Toward an Answer to Sam Pink’s Question from Yesterday


>>is there any definable characteristic that separates what is called “flash fiction” from what is called “short story” or “novella” or “novel.”<< (click thru for Sam’s whole post)

When I was younger I was obsessed with word-counts. I always wanted to know how long a book was “supposed” to be. No writer I have ever asked about this has ever wanted to give a straight answer to this question. I used to think it was because they were fussy and protective over their secrets, but now that I am older and wiser I understand that it is because they don’t actually know. Nobody does. When Amazon put in that feature with all the book stats, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I spent hours looking up every book I could think of, to see how long they all were. A few months ago, when I switched to a Mac, I was delighted to learn the Pages gives me a running word-count at the bottom of the work-window, and that if I highlight a section of text, I instantly get the word-count for that section. (This blog-window does the same thing, btw.)

But many years before the machines came to the rescue, there was one man who attempted to give me the answers I sought. READ MORE >

Craft Notes / 16 Comments
August 14th, 2009 / 12:46 pm