Short Story, Novella, or Novel?

I think the answer depends on the writer. I have two writer friends whose first novels were well over 100,000 words. They were told by editors to cut down to fewer words and had a hard time doing so but, because they persevered, they managed to make the novels shorter.

Then there are writers like me who started writing short stories and then segued into novellas and novels. I couldn’t write a 100,000 word novel if my life depended on it but I’ve learned to write one of 50,000 words, which is minimal for a full-length novel and I prefer novellas.

It’s because I learned the short cuts that short story writers depend on to get the story told in a few words and I prefer that kind of writing. I’m sure that if my friends who learned to write long, long novels had to cut their stories down to a short story format, they could do so but it would be as hard as it was for me to learn to add words that I’d been taught were unnecessary.

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