Author Topic: Fiction classification  (Read 230 times)

Frabby

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Fiction classification
« on: 25 May 2024, 13:28:26 »
With the recent slew of "Novellas" published by CGL, an argument of sorts has broken out over at Sarna.net - namely, how the wiki should categorize fiction.

In hopes that this can be answered without violating any NDAs, here's a couple of questions that arose. Any and all answers welcome, though Phil, John or Ray would presumably know best.

- By the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America system, a "short story" is up to 7500 words (up to 15 pages); between 7500 and 17,500 words (16-35 pages) pieces are considered "novelettes", and stories of between 17,500 and 40,000 words (36-80 pages) are considered "novellas" by the SWFA. However, unless I missed it, there are no CGL novelettes.
What classification system does CGL use?

- Who decides when and based on what parameters if a given story is considered a novella, novel, etc.? Is word count even the deciding factor in this?

- In the age of electronic publishing, is the word count/page count even still meaningful?
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Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins

Swankmotron

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Re: Fiction classification
« Reply #1 on: 27 May 2024, 16:43:31 »
Frabby,

I think you'd need John Helfers to really weigh in, but I think the SFWA lengths are pretty spot on, with the exception that novelette seems pretty universally skipped. Word count is really important and determines everything a writer does and how we fit our stories in the right places. It seems like around these parts, short story is up to 10k, then 10k-40k is a novella. Then after that you're at novel length. I know there are some internally who think 17.5k is still the threshold for a novella though, it really seems to depend on the story, though.

I've also heard internally that there are "short novels" in BattleTech, too, that range in length from 40-55k words or so. At least that's what I've been told Honor's Gauntlet was. But that could be more shorthand than anything.

Really, the ultimate classification probably resides with John Helfers, and word count is a huge factor in that decision.

I do think word count is meaningful. I don't think page count has ever been meaningful, to be honest. At least from a writer's perspective.