Archive for September 22nd, 2021

How Long is Short?

I’m not talking about skirt length, or even of a prison term, but of STORIES.

I sat through a program about short stories recently and came away with one interesting factoid (yes, only one, therefore I won’t name the sponsor).

The factoid: The Great Gatsby, often called the Great American Novel, is barely longer than a long short story.

Sorry about the outpouring of adjectives, but I checked it out and, sure enough, The Great Gatsby is fewer than 48,000 words. Today that would be called a novella, shorter by 30,000 + words than a typical mystery novel, even a cozy.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (born September 24, 1896, a distant cousin of THE OTHER Francis Scott Key) tended to write short, as did several other well-known writers.

Here are four more short novels: Fight Club, Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 451, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I can hardly wait till my next contract negotiation.