Tag: novella

Exploring Length in Fiction

As I learn more about fiction, I’ve found the different types of fiction very interesting. Normally, the “types” of fiction refers to genres: whether a piece is literary fiction as opposed to romantic or sci-fi. However, I’m talking more about length in fiction. There are about four general lengths in fiction: flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels.

 

 

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction refers to short works that are, usually, under 1,000 words. This includes Dribbles, Drabbles, and six-word stories. Flash fiction is like a burst of juice on your tongue; something short and sweet. These short, short stories truly pack a punch, somewhere between a sour candy and an actual hit, when it comes to their emotional toll. Stories like The Visitor and A Story of Stolen Salamis, by Lydia Davis are steeped in memory and care. They make you smile in a wistful way as you think of your grandpa or something you hold dear. Jamaica Kincaid also packs a heavy hit with Girl, the story of a young Caribbean girl and the lessons her mother gives her. You think of social expectations, whether you’re on the good side or the bad side of what your mother wanted.

 

Image via Genius

Short Stories

Short stories are, almost always, significantly longer than Flash Fiction, spanning from 1,500 to 10,000 words. These stories are like short films in their ability to tell a full, detailed story in a short amount of time. There fun to read on the go; great for snacking. Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff is just that. This compact little story, gives context to the death of a book editor and does a great job of giving you just enough. There’s just enough detail, just enough dialog, just enough of insight on the main character’s life. It’s a little bag of perfect.

 

 

Image via Goodreads

Novellas

Novellas are usually around 15,000 to 60,000, even though the word count is not set in stone. Think of them as a dinner plate; it’s enough to fill you up without making you full. Novellas are satisfying in that way. They’re full of detail, all without dedicated pages to setting or description. John Steinbeck seems to be a good chef when it comes to novellas. He wrote Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, The Pearl, and Lifeboat, with the first being his most famous Novella. Of Mice and Men is the perfect example of what a novella could be. It presents a full, satisfying story that is, like a short story, easy to read wherever you are.

Image via Amazon

Novels

Novels are the most common form of fiction around, the full course meal of fiction. These stories can stretch from around 50/60,000 words onward, even though readers usually prefer novels that don’t pass 250,000 words. Everyone has their own favorite novel, but every good novel has one thing in common: it’s extremely engaging. Because a novel has to keep a reader’s attention over a longer coarse of time, it’s more important they are engaging from the beginning. Another thing about novels is that they give you the room to build an entire world. It is perfectly acceptable to spend a significant time on setting and world-building. Take the Harry Potter series for example; those books are long and spend a lot of time setting up the scenery. That works in a novel because it gives depth to the world and keeps the story interesting.

 

 

Now that you’ve gotten to see the full spread of what fiction has to offer, go out and read. Have a novella on the train; read a short story with breakfast; enjoy the variety of fiction because it is truly endless.

 

Feature Image via HGTV.

 


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'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

12 ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Quotes For When the World Is Your Oyster

One of the first big movies I can recall watching when I was around 12 was the utterly classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Just the name makes me think of something untouchable and irreplaceable. After that I’d stop and watch it with my mom, my grandma, or by myself whenever I saw it on TV. I feel like everyone has a special place where they hold a movie like that.

 

 

Based loosely off the Truman Capote novella of 1958, the 1961 film had slight changes in the plot, but it was no less charming. It portrays the story of a flighty Manhattan socialite vying for a rich husband while befriending an aspiring writer. Obviously Audrey Hepburn cannot be replicated. That goes without saying. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the following quotes from one of the best book-to-movie adaptations we know.

 

1. “You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

 


2. “It may be normal, darling; but I’d rather be natural.”

 


 

3. “The answer is good things only happen to you if you’re good. Good? Honest is more what I mean… Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.”

 


 

4. “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

 


 

5. “It’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes.”

 


 

6. “You can love somebody without it being like that. You keep them a stranger, a stranger who’s a friend.”

 


7. “It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”

 


8. “I loved her enough to forget myself, my self pitying despairs, and be content that something she thought happy was going to happen.”

 


9. “I’m very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what’s yours until you’ve thrown it away.”

 


10. “Reading dreams. That’s what started her walking down the road. Every day she’d walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.”

 


 

11. “I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does they might as well be dead.”

 


 

12.  “You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

 

 

Via GIPHY

 

 

Featured Image Via Los Angeles Times

'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

12 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' Quotes For When the World Is Your Oyster

One of the first big movies I can recall watching when I was around 12 was the utterly classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Just the name makes me think of something untouchable and irreplaceable. After that I’d stop and watch it with my mom, my grandma, or by myself whenever I saw it on TV. I feel like everyone has a special place where they hold a movie like that.

 

 

Based loosely off the Truman Capote novella of 1958, the 1961 film had slight changes in the plot, but it was no less charming. It portrays the story of a flighty Manhattan socialite vying for a rich husband while befriending an aspiring writer. Obviously Audrey Hepburn cannot be replicated. That goes without saying. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the following quotes from one of the best book-to-movie adaptations we know.

 

1. “You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

 


2. “It may be normal, darling; but I’d rather be natural.”

 


 

3. “The answer is good things only happen to you if you’re good. Good? Honest is more what I mean… Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.”

 


 

4. “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

 


 

5. “It’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes.”

 


 

6. “You can love somebody without it being like that. You keep them a stranger, a stranger who’s a friend.”

 


7. “It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”

 


8. “I loved her enough to forget myself, my self pitying despairs, and be content that something she thought happy was going to happen.”

 


9. “I’m very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what’s yours until you’ve thrown it away.”

 


10. “Reading dreams. That’s what started her walking down the road. Every day she’d walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.”

 


 

11. “I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does they might as well be dead.”

 


 

12.  “You’re wrong. She is a phony. But on the other hand you’re right. She isn’t a phony because she’s a real phony. She believes all this crap she believes. You can’t talk her out of it.”

 
 

Via GIPHY

 

 
Featured Image Via Los Angeles Times

Christmas Stories

5 Cozy Christmas Stories That’ll Make You Wish You Had a Fireplace

Can you picture this: You’re curled up on a comfy chair covered in soft pillows and warm blankets. The fireplace is crackling as fluttering embers ascend through the chimney and there’s a hot mug of something sweet at the table next to you. Throw in a cute cat or dog, some fuzzy socks, and it sounds complete, right? WRONG! Where the bloody hell is your reading material?! ‘Tis the season to read everything you possibly can in the coziest settings and highest spirits!

 

If you’re like me and can’t pick a book or two to focus on this season, then keep reading! You just may find what you’re looking for. I’ve come across some pretty magical Christmas tales and short stories over the years and they really do leave you with that wondrous feeling of the possibility and unexpected twists of fate. No, I do not think that is dramatic… And I know I can’t be the only one to feel that way. Check out the list of lovely Christmas stories below and hop on the holiday bandwagon.

 

1. ‘The Gift of the Magi’ by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)

 

'The Gift of the Magi'

Image Via The Art of Simple

 

This enlightening short story revolves around a young couple at Christmas time, faced with buying each other gifts with the little money they have. I don’t want to set up any spoilers here, but let’s just say they give away something they really care about in order to make someone they care about truly happy. The plot twist is fantastic, recognizable, and if often seen as humorous…in a sentimental way of course. The true meaning of Christmas lies within this story.

 

2. ‘A Kidnapped Santa Claus’ by L. Frank Baum

 

'A Kidnapped Santa'

Image Via Amazon

 

The classic battle is portrayed here: good vs. evil. When Santa is visited and tempted by five daemons, four of which are undoubtedly bad figures, they underestimate Santa’s morale. Temptation fails and they kidnap him, leaving Santa’s pixies and elves to fight for the good of Christmas and to bring everyone their treasures before the night is through. I think you know which side wins, but it’s not without some vital lessons.

 

3. ‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote

 

'A Christmas Memory'

Image Via Goodreads

 

Well jeez, if this makes you cry I am definitely not sorry. It’s good to feel strongly about a story and share in the beauty of what humans do for each other during the holidays! Capote’s heartfelt work does that with a young boy (the narrator) and his elderly cousin who is also his best friend. They spend the month of December taking part in holiday cheer and enjoying the process of gift giving despite they’re authoritative family and lack of money. They spend Christmas in the purest way and really just enjoy each other’s company… That’s before life sets in. I know, I know, such sadness, but this one is a must. 

 

4. ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dylan Thomas

 

'A Child's Christmas in Wales'

Image Via Aurea Ensemble

 

This isn’t like your average short story in the way it’s composed. It’s detailed, somewhat like prose, nostalgic, and almost autobiographical as Thomas thinks back on winter days and Christmas time as a child. It’s very short, but beautiful in its reflection of the past and how Christmases used to be. I think that’s something we can all relate to; that feeling that the holidays filled you more at a younger age and the world seemed so much bigger with more to offer. Thomas teaches us how to embrace Christmases of past, present, and future. We may all reminisce now.

 

5. The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Image Via Family Christmas Online

 

Oh, the ever-glorious Mr. Dickens. The man is the epitome of Christmas and each of his works encapsulates the cheer of the holidays! This domestic novella of a guardian in the form of a small cricket grants a small family true joy just before Christmas. Although there are some mishaps here and there, all is well in this Victorian household setting, so cheers to that… Am I right?

 

Before you start reading these make sure you’re ready to set the mood with comfy sweat pants and an unnecessary amount of cookies or something sweet. That’ll do. Get in the spirit quick and don’t forget about what people truly want for Christmas each year: Love… And probably socks.

 

 

Image Via Giphy

 

Feature Image Via Food Tank