Whenever someone read a short story I wrote, it was guaranteed they'd ask, "How do you know how many words for your story?"
I suppose my best answer was, "When the story is finished, you count the words. And that would be the number you needed for your story."
One of my favorite sites, in the New York Times, , manages to lighten our hearts, with 100 word or less love stories.
That answer certainly exemplified my lack of schooling in the craft of writing.
Whenever I'd submit for a contest or magazine, the guidelines provided the range of the word count. Click onto the Published Work button below to share my 15 seconds of fame.
Based on the definitions, I am most comfortable in the Short-Short Story genre.
2,500 - 5,000 words
Definitions for the SHORT STORY
A story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and
less elaborate than a novel - Oxford Dictionary
An invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters
and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of
mood rather than plot - Merriam-Webster
500 - 2,500 words
Definition for a SHORT-SHORT STORY
A very short piece of prose fiction, much more condensed than the average short story.
Contests are held for stories with as little as two words.
A well-known two-word story: Jesus wept.
Many contests have asked for submissions for four-or five-word stories. Each has a subject, an object, a verb and maybe one description or refining notion.
My favorites (authors unknown) include
a sad story:
We all die someday.
a horror story:
Just saw my reflection blink.
Of course, not all submitted works are chosen for publication.
That would be the downside to writing IF publishing is your only goal.
Publishing is not my only goal, don't get me wrong, it is a goal...a great goal.
There's nothing like the feeling you have when seeing your words in print
or hearing a recording of a poem you've written,
or watching the characters you've created on paper come alive on stage.
"Writing is the only thing, that, when I do it,
I don't feel I should be doing something else." - Gloria Steinem
Click the icons for access to the stories.
Enjoy some of Judy's unpublished short-shorts.
A 2023 Valentine's Day Short-short