Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Offical, I'm a Writer

Leave it to my mom to decide this for me.

My college is putting together an alumni directory and for some reason you can only verify your information via telephone. I received an email telling me this, and my parents (who are my stateside mailing address) received a similar letter. My mother offered to call for me since it's a big fat pain in the butt to call internationally. Not to mention expensive.

She emailed me Monday evening to tell me the different options for the directories. I can buy a deluxe edition, a soft-bound edition, or the cheap-o version that includes my class and the one on either side. Very fancy. She also said they'll be emailing me in case I'd like to add a story or photo (oh the pressure!).

And then there was this little gem at the end of her email:

"By the way, you are now a "writer" rather than in advertising..."

So it's official. Or at least it will be as of February 9th.

Now that I'm a writer, I have a question I've been meaning to ask. What's the standard length for a short story? I know they vary and I should check the publication for their requirements, but as a rule of thumb, what's the median word count?

23 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

ding!

Huzzah! Leave it to Mom. :)

I wanna say short stories are anything under 1000 words... I'll see if I can find my chart.

Melanie Avila said...

I forgot to warn her I was posting this, so I can't wait to see what she has to say.

Thanks for checking that for me. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Here's one break down (I was off by a bit), but I know I've seen similar charts on AW.

http://www.pwcwriters.org/penpoints4.htm

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Janna! That number for short stories (2500-5000) is more or less what I was thinking, I just wanted more opinions.

WendyCinNYC said...

Congrats, Official Writer!

Jen said...

YAY for your mom, Mel. :D

And short story lengths vary pretty wildly. The range you've got there is pretty good, but some markets accept flash fiction (pieces under 1000k) and others will accept pieces that are almost novella length, like 10-12k.

Depends on the market, really. So helpful of me, I know. LOL

spyscribbler said...

Awesome!!! I'd say anything under 8,000 words, but then I've heard someone call 8,000 words a novella. I think of a novella at about 30,000 - 60,000, but some people think of anything above 50,000 as novels.

All that to say: I have no idea.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Wendy. Now I feel like I should actually get something done!

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, you are helpful! It helps just to know what other people think. I've looked on the AW boards a little and there's so much info it's overwhelming. I'd rather have advice from you all.

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I always considered a novella 20/30k-60k, under the 60k mark for novels. That's interesting some consider 8k a novella. I've yet to start writing my idea, but I'm thinking it'll be a couple thousand words.

turkey lurkey said...

Glad it is now official! Yay!

Robin said...

That's adorable. I'm having my mom say I'm a super model if my college calls home, just to mess with them.

You were already a writer to me. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, I know!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, rofl! And thanks. That's sweet.

Rachel Burton said...

Sometimes we just need someone else to say it so we can say it ourselves. Go mom!

Melanie's Mom said...

Thanks for the support for my spur of the moment response to the alumni directory folks! Having read The Other Side, I think I'm entitled to call Melanie a writer -- somehow "art director" or "graphic designer" just doesn't capture who she is today. It's not just how she spends her time, it's her passion!

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, I think that's true.

Melanie Avila said...

Aww, thanks mom. :)

Shadow_Ferret said...

Yay. Mel is one of us! Welcome aboard.

Melanie Avila said...

Ferret, it still doesn't sound quite right, but thanks. :)

colbymarshall said...

Yay for Mom! And yay for being "official!"

aaroncrocco said...

Awesome that you're a writer now! I unfortunately don't have an answer for your short story question.

Also about the phone, if you have broadband in your house, get a Vonage box and you'll have cheap local calls to the states. :-)

Melanie Avila said...

Aaron, we actually had Vonage in Chicago, but now we use Skype for everything. It's less than 2¢ per call, but I hate calling businesses with it because it sometimes echoes.