Writing tips #1(Word Count and Story Length)

Hello/Namaste amazing people!
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers write wonderful stories. A story that has perfect descriptions, great characters, balanced action scenes and every little ingredient that contributes to increase the standards of a story. But there’s this one thing that they forget. Guessed it, yet?

Yes, it’s the most effective term of a fictional story. Its length and the word count.

Many a times what goes wrong is, one doesn’t know what length would be suitable for a particular story. The general word counts and types of stories are as follows:

1. Six-Word Story (One liners)

Clear enough, these stories have an exact length of six words. The only way to master these stories, is to pour every emotion and meaning in the 6 carefully chosen words. Since they’re so tiny they need to have a great impact, else it won’t mean a thing. Surprisingly, the first popular Six-word story was created when someone asked Ernest Hemingway to write a short story in six words. But his authorship over the piece is a little skeptical, nevertheless it is one fine piece that has gave rise to a whole new chapter in the book of literature.

220px-Classic_baby_shoes

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

Though this contains only 6 words, the amount of grief in it can make one cry. So, keeping the meaning of the words in mind try to write sentences that won’t require a backstory and could be understood by anyone without a context.

2. 140 Character Story (Twitterature)

Everyone who uses twitter is well aware of this character limit and of the marvellous wonders that people do within it. A little more flexible than 6 words, this type of story has everything packed in punches. Thus a character or two can be included in it, but of course the same rule applies to Twitterature as One Liners, no background should be required for one to understand what’s happening in the write-up.

A Pound of Gaudy Flesh

Jake picked up the sharp knife, fingered the golf ball sized cyst under his arm, and wished (not for the first time) he had health insurance.

3. Dribble (50 words) — Drabble (100 words)

This is the most challenging word count for any writer. To limit himself and tell a story is a tough job. And this limit certainly does the best in provoking the writer’s skills of brevity and ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas. The greatest “must have” in this kind of a story is:

  • at least a character. (or a narrator)
  • a setting of the scene.
  • some conflict that would concern the readers.
  • a long lasting moral that would ring a bell.

My attempt at drabble (56 words):

The Antiques Collector

4. Flash/Sudden Fiction(around 750 words)

Here comes my personal favorite! If you happen to be a reader of my Fables then you might know why this is my best suited category. This is the longest adventure that one can have in one go, without getting bored. Even extending this category to 1000 words would be fine, but be sure to keep it interesting and innovative. The general direction to keep in mind while writing a Flash/Sudden Fiction is:

  • maintain the relation throughout.
  • give brief but deep insight to the characters.
  • choose characters depending upon the scene.

My favorite Flash Fiction (696 words)

The Beggared Billionaire

5. Series Fiction/ Novel Writing

The last but not the least, comes a series! A very usual question that arises when your write-up has crossed the limit of 1000 words but the story hasn’t completed yet, then “WHAT DO WE DO?”
The answer is quite simple, break the story into parts. Depending on how the story progresses you can decide the length of the whole series yourself, but not forget the length on an individual part. If the story demands more than 20 parts(each part of 1000 words) then it’s wiser to convert it into a novel. Things to be aware of while writing a part of a series fiction:

  • every part should progress steadily, unless you reach the climax.(where the story can progress quicker)
  • use cliffhangers wisely. Too many would frustrate a reader while no cliffhangers would make the reader lose his interest.
  • post on fixed schedule (I’m a culprit, here.)

A completed Crime Thriller series on The Honest Fabler (4 parts)

Guilty as Charged

After thinking about it for a long time, I’ve finally decided to post tips on writing fictional stories. And give elaborated insights on each of it. Every week, I’ll be posting the following tips.
#1 – Word Count and Story Length
#2 – Choosing the genre/ Conceptualizing the story
#3 – Sequencing the Plot
#4 – Character Development
#5 – First Person/ Second Person/ Third Person Narrative
#6 – The Power of Foreshadowing


©The Honest Fabler
©Image credits- Google Images

19 thoughts on “Writing tips #1(Word Count and Story Length)

  1. I use the Six Word Story activity in my classes each year. I am always blown away by the power of so few words. Each time I write a blog post, I go back through to see what I can edit to give my post the most power with the fewest words. Very cool post idea!

    1. I haven’t read more than one or two stories of these writers, so nope. Unfortunately no favorites. But these one or two stories of theirs leave a great impress! Judynknight being one of those who left a mark ^-^ btw thanks a lot for the Feedback✌️

      1. Yes, I was asking because I had thought about trying it, but I wasn’t sure how to start. I thought maybe seeing someone else’s example would be instructive! Judynknight? I’ll check it out! Thanks!

  2. Very helpful!! I write flash fiction and wanted to make sure I am doing it accurately when it comes to word count. People often get confused between a short story and the flash fiction. Your post is very informative. Thank you!!

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