Answer to Question #166114 in English for Kasandra

Question #166114

Differences between short story and novel


1
Expert's answer
2021-02-24T06:08:13-0500

 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A SHORT STORY AND A NOVEL.


A novel and a short story is that short stories are short and novels are long. Short stories can be 1,000 to 20,000 words. More average is 3,000 to 5,000 words. A novel can be anywhere from 60,000 to over 120,000.

 

A short story has one main character and the story is told through that character’s point of view. Often it is told in first person or limited first person. A novel has a cast of characters and the story can be told from any of those characters’ viewpoints.

 

The main character of a short story has a need or fear that leads to a major change or climactic event in that person’s life. The protagonist comes to a single understanding or insight. A novel is much more complex with many transformational events that more than one characters can go through.

 

A short story usually takes place in a limited amount of time say days or few hours usually within few settings. A novel can take place over a short period of time or it may cover years or generations in many different settings, countries and even planets.

 

A short story has one theme, whereas a novel can explore different themes and has more breadth and scope.

 

Each story form has different challenges. The short story gives the author a chance to explore one idea with one character. It must be written so that it is tight and a lot conveyed in an economy of words. The first draft may be written in one setting and rewritten and edited in a short period of time. However, the limitation on the number of words in itself can be a challenge. The novelist has time to explore characters, different settings, subplots and sweeping events. The commitment to write a novel is much larger and it may take years to research, write, rewrite and edit.



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