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What is the Premium length of a story? Options · View
Dreamcatcher
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 1:01:07 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 3,061
Location: Only my friends know...
As a creature of habit and a guy who tends to prioritize my time obsessively, I have developed a pattern of reading the stories and poems here on SS.

I tend to read in spurts rather than continuously, so I usually seek out the shorter posts first, then work my way into the longer more epic posts. Sadly, that means that larger stories and poems, ie. 2500+/- words often get pushed to the end and don't get read because of time constraints or a faulty memory by this ol' hound.

With that in mind, I have unconsciously come to the conclusion that IMHO, 1200 words is the premium mid-size story or poem length to ensure the most readers. Less than that is great. More than that might require the reader to peruse it or get to it when they have time.

Anybody else have an opinion?



fuzzy1954
Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 9:59:40 AM

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Joined: 9/29/2012
Posts: 1,956
Location: OZ [Prairie Village KS]
to me there is no amount of words are needed to be counted or look for, I rather allow myself to read and become a part of a story or poem

ny one else have an opinion?


gypsy
Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 11:26:09 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,613
fuzzy1954 wrote:
to me there is no amount of words are needed to be counted or look for, I rather allow myself to read and become a part of a story or poem

ny one else have an opinion?


Yes, I just didn't have the time to post.

The story has to be good and hold my attention.

If it does not do that, regardless of length, I'm done reading it.

A long good story that should be broken into chapters shorter than the intial one, yes, that should be done because reading by scrolling down as is the case here, is not always comfortable for me as a reader.





The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 8:59:53 AM

Rank: Story Moderator
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Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 474
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
Gypsy is preaching my sermon for me. That is to say, we agree. That said, readers here at Story Space seem to follow the 'shorter is better' line when it comes to the stories they read, vote and leave a comment on. IMO, if a story comes in at over 3-4K, it better have a killer hook of an opening (he says, subtly pimping his 'How to be a Happy Hooker' SS thread). ;)

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

gypsy
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 11:35:29 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,613
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
Gypsy is preaching my sermon for me.


In other words, you owe me, dude. Fees, writing time, copyright, hurt caused by head scratching and hair pulling on my part to write that sermon, just for a start. To say nothing, or not much, about your appropriation of my carefully crafted words to no effect, yeah, whatever, blah, blah, blah...

You owe me, BIG TIME!!!!

evil4

Happy New Year Bill, best wishes for 2019.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Survivor
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 12:20:26 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 12/21/2012
Posts: 3,478
Location: bajo un árbol de álamo
This is actually a difficult question to answer thoroughly. Am I right? Some stories, such as Micro Fiction, beg to be short. That is their reason to exist, shall we say. But others simply must have a lot of build up and sense of place established or they will never be the story the author wants to tell.

It's clear that "it depends" is the only right answer.

Anyway, I truly prefer shorter stories. They are much easier for me to keep my attention on them as I read.

For me, I prefer writing most stories up to about 3,000 words. And I would want to see stories that are not over 5,000 words. That being said, I will read a story of any length if the person who wrote it is a person I follow.
Mendalla
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 12:38:30 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 4/23/2014
Posts: 452
Location: Somewhere amongst the trees
So is Night of the Wind too long, then? It's 4843 words and does not, IMHO as the writer, lend itself to breaking in a natural way. And my output will likely continue to be in that range if I ever get back to writing for that universe. I'm not here to write musings and micro-fiction.



Looking for something to read? Look no further. The link below has a selection of poems and stories for your enjoyment.

https://www.storiesspace.com/mendalla/stories
Dreamcatcher
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 1:39:41 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 3,061
Location: Only my friends know...
To be clear, I wasn't criticizing any writer who posts longer stories or poems. I was suggesting that a shorter piece has a greater chance of being read. Striking a balance between short and long seemed to fit a post in the 1200+/- word length IMO.

I think Rump has the right answer, in that any piece which sets the hook early has the best chance of success. Having said that though, Larry is correct in that the topic has to be powerful enough to reel the reader in. The correct title of a piece is also a less understood hook. It's the first thing a reader sees.

As a writer, we are stuck with only two options. A robust re-telling of a topic most of us have read about a thousand times, or, the more difficult option of coming up with an original topic.



magnificent1rascal
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 1:09:11 AM

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Moderator

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Posts: 2,333
Location: On the ragged edge of disaster
FWIW, years ago Alan told me the length of story that, in his experience, was most likely to sell to contemporary fiction magazines, both in print and online.

And what was the magic number, you ask?

1,200 words.

Connect with Maggie

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Wordpusher715
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2019 2:51:05 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 5/19/2018
Posts: 39
Location: Near Mipple City
In business, there's a parable about three people having lunch. The first person says the most important language to know is English and that one must speak English if one is to succeed in business around the world. The second person says German, French, Italian, Spanish, and English are the most important languages to speak as they are the languages of the most populous countries in the world. He proudly proclaimed that he spoke all of them. The third person sipped his soup silently and simply nodded his head. As the silence became unbearable, he set his spoon down and looked at his fellow businessmen who were waiting for his opinion. He said clearly, "The most important language to speak is the one my customer uses."

Who do we write for? The arc of the story and the targeted reader appear to determine the appropriate length of a story. But then there are times I wonder what it might be like to just string several microfiction pieces together. Sort of a Mama Mia musical via microfiction pieces strung throughout a story line. I don't have the discipline to do it myself but there are craftsmen here who could.

Please know that sometimes my confidence exceeds my intelligence. If that happened here, I apologize.

I live, I love, I perform, and I lament.
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