Short Stories Vs Novels: Best Comparison 2022

Short Stories Vs Novels

Most of our first interactions with books and the written word, whether we were aware of it or not, were through short stories that is, the kind of literature we read in early grade school.

Many individuals believe that a narrative may be a mood investigation, a trip through a spectrum of emotions, or a detailed analysis of a single decision.

On the other hand, others say that reading fiction is a wonderful method to improve your social brain. Reading books, for example, has been shown to change our brains and social abilities.

Then there’s the question of short stories vs novels: How do short stories differ from novels? Continue reading, and Penn Book will explore the many aspects of these two reading styles with you.

Short Stories vs Novels: How to Decide Which to Write

What is a short story?

A short story is a narrative written in prose that describes fictional characters or events. Although short stories don’t have a set length, most publishers suggest that they be between 1,500 and 30,000 words. Short stories are intended to be read in one sitting and produce a single effect.

While short stories can have characters and plots just like novels, they are much shorter than novels. There are few characters and very few subplots. A short story focuses on the action and events within a very short time frame. It may contain only one setting and few scenes.

Modern short stories emerged in the 19th Century. They were influenced by oral storytelling traditions and short, moralistic narratives of parables, fables, and parables.

Short Stories

What is a Novel?

The longest form of prose fiction is novel. This is a lengthy narrative in prose that describes fictional characters or events. A few publishers have guidelines that the word count for a novel should not exceed 50,000 words.

This will give you an idea of how long a novel is. The novel is not meant to be read in one sitting or to have a single effect.

A novel’s plot, character, setting, and theme are important aspects when critiquing and appreciating it. A novel can be longer than prose fiction and contain more characters, themes, and subplots than other literary genres. A novel can cover a large amount of time, and some novels are long lasting.

A novel, unlike a short story, can be broken down into chapters or volumes. You can categorize novels into different genres like paranormal, supernatural, western, romance, fantasy, thriller, and Western.


The Difference Between a Novel and a Short Story: Length

A story’s length is what distinguishes it from a novel or a short story. The length of your story can determine what genre you are writing. Does it need to be written in the same way as a novel?

Word count

A short story can be defined as any piece of narrative fiction between 1,000 and 10,000 words. On the other hand, a novel is a work of narrative fiction that ranges from 1,000 to 10,000 words. However, there are many examples of novels that are shorter or longer than these guidelines.

A good story can be read in one sitting or for as long as a day. A novel, however, is intended to keep the reader engaged for longer periods such that they are occupied for days, weeks, or even months.

Type of story

What drives the length of the story’s content? It all depends on the idea. A longer story will require a more complex or larger idea to keep it going.

A story about a visit to your grandmothers for dinner might be a good subject for a short story, but it’s not something you can do in a novel unless Marcel Proust is involved.


Short stories are more likely to be shorter than novels and cover shorter events. However, this is not always true. Chekhov wrote many stories that felt more like novels. They covered years in a handful of pages.

Novel Versus Short Story: Complexity

When writing your story, think about whether it requires an extensive backstory. Is it centered on a single event or a series of events? Do you need to include subplots and digressions to tell the whole story? For the story to be memorable, you will need more information.


The complexity of the story is another way to look at the differences between novels and stories. A shorter story is more concise, follows a single thread, and features fewer subplots. A novel might, however, be bursting with subplots.


Setting up a new setting can be time consuming. Writing in historical times or creating a new world, as in science fiction, will require more exposition than stories set in the present and familiar places.

There are many characters

Many novels have a larger number of characters. Stories with fewer characters, or one main character, are more common in short stories.

There are many points of view

Think about how you want to tell your story. What is the point of view? A short story can make it difficult for a writer to change points of view.

Strategic shifts in viewpoints (even between the first and third person) can help sustain the reader’s interest. Too many pages filled with the same characters or viewpoints can wear out readers.

Are you a writer

Are you a writer?

You must determine the type of writing process that your ideas are most suited to as a writer. Although novels are most popular and widely read, many writers (Kafka and Chekhov are great examples) wrote short stories almost exclusively.

You can also find many examples of writers like Hemingway, who wrote stories and short stories. It is up to you to decide which format is most appropriate for the story you are trying to tell.


Why do authors write short stories instead of novels?

It’s why I suggest that fiction writers begin with short stories and not novels. This is a quicker way to finish a story and get your readers’ attention. The investment is also lower, making the process less stressful. It is also an excellent way to increase your writing skills.

What are the 5 key elements that go into a short story?

They combine the five essential elements of a great short story, character, setting, conflict, plot, theme, and plot.

Do short stories sell?

Selling short stories is not a quick way to make a lot of money. There is increasing interest in short stories as people are more willing to read them. You can also make decent money selling your stories if they are distributed through the right channels or venues.

Is the novel a short story?

A short story can be defined as any piece of narrative fiction between 1,000 and 10,000 words. On the other hand, a novel is a work of narrative fiction that ranges from 50,000 to 70,000 words. However, there are many examples of novels that are shorter or longer than these guidelines.

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