Short Stories and Novellas
A short story is currently defined as anything up to 7,500 words, while a novella is between 17,500 and 40,000 words.
The span between 7,500 and 17,500 is often defined as a "novelette", although some authorities state that a novella starts at 10,000 words.
Since it's all rather arbitrary, and defined mostly by literary contests, we are using the term "short novella" for novelette, because the term "novelette" is sometimes viewed as a work that is frothy or silly, or of limited literary value. One doesn't want one's work to be viewed as silly, now does one? :-). A reference on word counts is listed on the Rules page of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards.
The chair was large, and as Anhad scrunched down into it and closed his eyes, the world around him felt far away. The sound of car horns faded, and even the cackle of the birds in the tree grew softer and more melodious. Sleep hugged him, and he sighed a huge sigh, a sigh of chocolate cake contentment and chores well done. It might have been the cake, or perhaps the beauty of the tree that waved at him as he slept, but on that particular day, Anhad began to dream, a dream unlike any other. more
~ a short story (4,239 words) that will one day become a short movie, starring the author ~
Hiram Hazlacker's last living memory was the sight of the Revenue Men coming down the path to his cave. Hiram called it his Whiskey Cave, even though it was just a bunch of rocks that he’d thrown together to hide his still. The woods of Northern Maine didn’t have too many caves, so a body had to make do with what was handy. more
Zebediah Clump was doomed. Knowing this, his interest in life had taken a sharp left turn into the toilet of resentful destiny. All that was good was flushed away.
He had never been a happy man. Aging, overweight and bald, Zebediah had spent decades drinking from a glass that was half empty. Every bird dropping that fell on his fine new automobile convinced him that Chicken Little was a depressingly prescient bird of death. more
~ A short, short story ~
He heard the doors open behind him and he turned to see another family entering the foyer - a mother, a father, and the most beautiful little girl he had ever seen. She was wearing a pink dress and pink shoes with yellow socks. In fact, she herself was pink and yellow. She had yellow hair, pink cheeks, pink lips and blue eyes. She seemed to float there among the people waiting for tables. more
[a novella: 22,402 words, approx 35 pages]
He was very surprised when he died. No amount of death scenes can prepare an actor for the real thing, even a Shakespearean actor. One can rehearse being stabbed, and poisoned, and shot, and even hung. But how can one prepare to be hit by a truck as one crosses the street? It is especially grievous if it is the street that one lives on. Edward had carefully locked the door of his theater on Grove Street, and had paused to admire the new sign that proudly declared to the cultured wits of Greenwich Village that the Wild Theatre was at the top of its form. more
Can an orchid forget?
One might not think so, but this one forgot. She was born next to a thicket of vines in a forest that echoed with the whine of bullets and the screams of men. When she was very young, a boot had fallen on her body, exhausting her in a bewilderment of panic as she struggled to free herself. Eventually, the boot had been dragged away, leaving behind scars and confusion in her delicate heart. more
~ The Chivalry of a Thief in the Time of Charlemagne ~
[a short novella: 13,943 words, approx 25 pages]
He had been shunned and kicked and spat upon. He had been chased and tortured and had lived alone, unwanted and unnoticed by the world. To have a knight and the grandson of an emperor trust him and look to him for help was beyond his imagination. more
It was the resounding thump of an alien child falling from the sky that woke Farmer Welton from his lazy slumber. He had wandered out of his farmhouse around noon, carrying a jug of his special home brewed root beer and some Oreos. Sitting there in the backyard, at an old beechwood table, he had gorged himself until he had finally fallen asleep. Did he dream? We’ll never know, but we do know that he drooled. more
It was a mad scheme. The Count knew this, for he was not at all mad. Grim. Formal. Humorless. Boring. But not mad. Even his enemies at court admitted that the Count was a fount of common sense. His only friend, as well as his sixty-year-old mother, would sigh in unison as they bit into their crumpets at tea time. They would sigh, and nod, and admit that the Count was too boring to be mad. more
“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
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