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gilesth
01-25-2010, 06:05 PM
Which do you prefer to read and/or write and why? I just wrote a blog about my personal preference (link in the signature), but I want to know what other people think.

Bubastes
01-25-2010, 06:37 PM
Wow, I don't think I could choose. I love reading and writing both.

Shadow_Ferret
01-25-2010, 06:44 PM
Ditto. I like to read and write both.

gilesth
01-25-2010, 06:49 PM
I enjoy short stories, to be sure, but at the end of the day, novels are what really EXCITE my imagination!

Phaeal
01-25-2010, 06:50 PM
I like both, but if I could only write in one form, I'd write novels. I'm naturally long-form. Short story is my second language.

Jamesaritchie
01-25-2010, 07:14 PM
I love both.

DrZoidberg
01-25-2010, 07:21 PM
I prefer to read short stories, but don't they sell pretty badly?

gilesth
01-25-2010, 07:26 PM
I prefer to read short stories, but don't they sell pretty badly?

From what I understand, making money off of short stories is something you try not to think about. Average (if my numbers are correct) is somewhere between $.01 - $.05 per word...if you're REALLY well-known, you might get up to $.10 per word, maybe. But short stories get your name out into the public. It's more like advertising for your book.

gothicangel
01-25-2010, 08:33 PM
I prefer novels, but there are some brilliant short stories out there:

Angela Carter
Neil Gaiman
John Updike
Philip Roth
Joyce Carol Oates
Robert Louis Stevenson . . .

Sevvy
01-25-2010, 08:40 PM
I hate reading short stories, and rarely do so without a teacher telling me to. But while I don't have a length preference consciously, I usually end up writing a short story (or at least starting out with one).

fadeaccompli
01-25-2010, 09:14 PM
It depends on what I'm in the mood for. There are some authors that I prefer in one form or another. I love Octavia Butler's work, but I find it too painful to read her novels, most of the time.; her short stories are long enough to pack in all the punch, but don't draw out the hurt for hours of reading. And I'm a lot more tolerant of strange or experimental styles (see: "The Chains That You Refuse") in short stories than novels.

But most of the time I read novels, because when I'm wandering through the library or bookstore, if I pick up a novel, it has a blurb that tells me what it's about. If I pick up a collection of short stories, it gives me a bunch of half-sentence descriptions of various stories, and I seldom get much of a feel for what the author's style is. So, much as I like short stories, I only read them if they're by an author I already like, or were recommended by someone I trust.

(Writing is a completely different issue. Some of my stories are meant to be short stories; some are meant to be drabbles; some are meant to be novels; some are meant to be novellas and are thus completely unmarketable, dammit. They're all too different to really compare in terms of preferences, though I do like that short stories can be written much faster.)

Lyra Jean
01-25-2010, 09:23 PM
I love reading short story collections made up by different authors but with the same theme. I also enjoy novels but sometimes I just don't have the time or I'm going to bed and I don't want to be drawn into something that is novel length.

I can't really write short stories so I'm working on novel form.

Cella
01-25-2010, 09:25 PM
I tend to write lengthy things, so challenging myself to keep it short is something I've been working on. So I guess my preference would be novels, but only because shorts are somewhat new to me.

Claudia Gray
01-25-2010, 10:59 PM
Novels, for both, simply because there's a market for them that both provides more for me to read and more chances for me to write.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2010, 02:44 AM
From what I understand, making money off of short stories is something you try not to think about. Average (if my numbers are correct) is somewhere between $.01 - $.05 per word...if you're REALLY well-known, you might get up to $.10 per word, maybe. But short stories get your name out into the public. It's more like advertising for your book.

It really depends on what kind of short stories you write, and where you try to sell them. Typical pro level genre magazines pay somewhere around five to eight cents per word, and most literary magazines pay less.

But there are some high paying short story markets. I usually get twenty-five cents per word in the outdoor market, and about the same in the children's markets. Sometimes more.

It works better, however, if you think in terms of time spent, rather than money per word. A nickel per word is one hundred dollars for 2,000 words, which doesn't sound like much, but if you can write that story in four hours, you just made twenty-five bucks per hour, which is at least decent pay.

blacbird
01-26-2010, 04:10 AM
Which do you prefer, food or drink?

caw

Linda Adams
01-26-2010, 04:08 PM
Writing short stories: Never again. They wracked havoc on my novel writing, and I ended up having to relearn how to write all over again just to finish a novel. It wasn't pretty, and I still have a lot of bad habits I'm struggling with.

Reading short stories: If they're well written and follow the form and structure of short stories. A lot don't seem to hit both of those--it's made me wonder if some don't understand what a story is. I've run into short stories seem more like an isolated event rather than an actual short story with a beginning, middle, and end.

gilesth
01-26-2010, 05:25 PM
It works better, however, if you think in terms of time spent, rather than money per word. A nickel per word is one hundred dollars for 2,000 words, which doesn't sound like much, but if you can write that story in four hours, you just made twenty-five bucks per hour, which is at least decent pay.

That's definitely a better way of looking at it :) I try not to think about the money when I'm writing a story, though, because then I get hung up on how much I think I should make, and then I do an awful job on my story. I look at it more as an opportunity to get exposure.

I still don't like writing them, though. It feels like a chore...I do it, however, to stretch my ability and try to become a better writer.

Dave.C.Robinson
01-26-2010, 06:52 PM
It depends:

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't; I like both short stories and novels. Currently, I'm ghost-writing a script novelization, and I have a short story of my own on the go. The client only wants material for the novelization so fast, so I need to do something else to occupy my fiction muscles. A novel might get in the way, so I'm working on a short.

kuwisdelu
01-26-2010, 08:29 PM
Which do you prefer, food or drink?

caw

Drink.

Shadow_Ferret
01-26-2010, 08:41 PM
Writing short stories: Never again. They wracked havoc on my novel writing, and I ended up having to relearn how to write all over again just to finish a novel. It wasn't pretty, and I still have a lot of bad habits I'm struggling with.


Why is that? What about short stories would ruin your ability to write a novel? I find them fairly similar. One is just a lot longer and more detailed then the other.

I started out writing short stories and can jump back and forth between the two no problem.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2010, 09:23 PM
Why is that? What about short stories would ruin your ability to write a novel? I find them fairly similar. One is just a lot longer and more detailed then the other.

I started out writing short stories and can jump back and forth between the two no problem.

I can jump back and forth with ease, as well, but the differences are much greater than length and detail, at least with publishable novels and short stories.

I suspect most who can jump back and forth easily don't realize just how different the two forms really are.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2010, 09:24 PM
Which do you prefer, food or drink?

caw

Food when I'm hungry, drink when I'm thirsty.

Linda Adams
01-27-2010, 04:23 AM
Why is that? What about short stories would ruin your ability to write a novel? I find them fairly similar. One is just a lot longer and more detailed then the other.

I started out writing short stories and can jump back and forth between the two no problem.

Probably because I did them for too many years. The structure of a novel is very different than a short story, and there are some elements a novel has that a short story doesn't. Even how the story is plotted is very different. Things I've particularly had trouble with:

Running short: I always run 25K too short. Where people have to edit down, I have to edit up and then watch as the word count drops because I'm also editing down. At times, I've felt like I've had to kick the story every inch of the way to get the word count up to a publishable length (please, please do not tell me that maybe the story isn't a novel-length story. It's the first thing everyone says when I mention this problem, story unseen, and is on my pet peeve list). Every bit of revision and editing is spent bringing the word count up.

Self-editing: I had to go through my second book and tell myself not to edit as I wrote, a habit I got from short stories (I wrote to word count). I literally was telling myself, "Write long." And I still can't tell if a paragraph is too long or not. People have told me I write spare, and I'm looking at the paragraphs and thinking they're too long.

Subplots: These do not develop naturally in the story for me. Not only that, if I try to add a subplot in during the revision, I'll get stuck for months at the point of the subplot. The only thing I've been able to comb through the story at the editing phrase for hints of subplots, and then insert them.

The Lonely One
01-27-2010, 04:36 AM
Short stories for me. Novels also, but short fiction is violently freeing to me.

san_remo_ave
01-27-2010, 04:36 AM
Hm. Guess I'm the odd-one out.

I prefer to read novels. I like to immerse myself in story and hang around in it a while. :D This may be one of the reasons I rarely read magazines, unless they are news mags.

I try to write novels.

However, I did challenge myself last year to write a short(er) story (15k, which seems to be too short to call a novella and too long to call a short story) in order to focus on storytelling structure and craft (specifically, getting across a lot of info in a short space). It was a lot of fun, I learned a ton and I've received great feedback (it's currently in 'second editorial' review, so it passed the first gatekeepers, anyway....)

FWIW

Bushrat
01-27-2010, 06:36 AM
I hate short stories. Just when you start to like the protag, get immersed in the story and want to soend a couple more days with the characters, that's already it. Haven't read one since I left high school! And wouldn't, couldn't write one either.

Cyia
01-27-2010, 08:16 AM
It depends on the story.

A novel should be written and read as a novel, but a short should be written and read as a short. If either is presented the wrong way, the reader will know.

gilesth
01-27-2010, 05:02 PM
It depends on the story.

A novel should be written and read as a novel, but a short should be written and read as a short. If either is presented the wrong way, the reader will know.

I completely agree with that statement! The methods are so different, and I've been trying to write novels for so long, that writing a short story is actually quite frustrating right now. But that's why I have beta readers :)