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The similarities are many... they both usually have plot and characters and high and low points, etc. The difference is mainly length. Short stories are much shorter than novels, and so the plot and characterization has to be more limited. One of the good things about the short story form is that they are much more easily adapted into movies.

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14y ago
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2mo ago

A short story is a brief fictional narrative that focuses on a single plot or theme, whereas a novel is a longer work that typically explores multiple characters, subplots, and themes in more depth. Both contain elements such as characters, setting, plot, and conflict, but the scope and length of each form differ significantly.

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9y ago

This answer deals mostly with dramatic novels and short stories.

1. Short stories tend to be constructed around a single climactic event which may or may not

permanently change the central character(s)

2. Short stories tend to employ a single line of rising stakes to arrive at this central climax

3. Short stories tend to remain in a single character's point of view (POV)-novels often offer more

than one POV or shifting POVs

4. Short stories tend to be more unified in time and place than novels in similar settings and modes 5. Short stories move through dramatic steps (when present) more quickly than most novels

6. Novels tend to offer more than one central character with a central need or fear to be worked out 7. Novels often contain subplots-actions related to but not as central as the main story line or story


8. Novels tend to explore characters in a broader social milieu than can be accomplished in a short


9. Novels usually contain several episodes with a rising complication-resolution-new complication

structure leading to a climax

10. At the end of a novel, characters find themselves in an irreversibly changed state of affairs from

the novel's beginning

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13y ago

Length: The most obvious difference between a short story and a novel is length, typically measured in the number of words contained within. A short story, as the moniker suggests, usually consists of only a few thousand words, while a novel can contain tens of thousands. The exact number differs depending on the specifications of the publisher, but a short story is usually somewhere between 2500 and 5000 words, while a novel can be upwards of 50,000.

Pace: Due to their relatively small word counts, short stories can't waste time with detailed descriptions or unnecessary details. The action has to start immediately, usually at the very beginning of the piece, and continue through to the resolution with no downtime. A novel, on the other hand, has time to gradually build up to the conflict and can delve deeper into the interactions and motivations of the characters, adding side details and background information throughout. In racing terms, a short story is a sprint, while a novel is a marathon.

Characters: Because of the word count constraints, short stories typically have only a few characters, with very little in-depth descriptions of their physical appearance or inner thoughts. The action has to happen quickly and carry through to the end, and a quick story is difficult with a dozen characters to keep track of. Novels are worlds of their own, though, with larger casts of main, side and recurring characters.

Plot: In terms of plot, a short story is like a half-hour television show, while a novel is more like a full-length movie. Short stories usually consist of only a few scenes: an introduction, conflict and resolution in relatively rapid succession. A novel has a much deeper plot, usually with a subplot or two intertwined. Novels incorporate richer character development than short stories can offer, furthering the plot with flashbacks, foreshadowing and inner reflection.

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11y ago

Short stories, aside from the obvious difference in length, have fewer characters and subplots, and focus on one or two closely related themes. Conversely, a novel can encompass a greater variety of characters, subplots, and multiple themes. The advantage of the short story is in its compactness and focus, making it -- in the hands of a good writer -- more powerful and memorable than its length would suggest. Despite an earlier answer, short stories have often been the source of films. Examples: Brokeback Mountain, 2001, and Stagecoach. Novels, on the other hand, often need to be trimmed to short story length for film adaptation.

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Q: What are the similarities and differences between a short story and a novel?
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