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How many hours to write a short story? |
EelKat On Writing Short Fiction




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How many hours?


Just curious. How many hours or revisions do you typically put into your short stories? After a certain point, would you decide that it's too much time and just cut off, for example?Harlequin 


When I was doing short stories full time (before health issues got in the way) I had made it a goal to publish 1 a week (52 a year) and usually ended up with around 30 a year instead. My method then was to spend a day writing a story, and then spend the rest of the week editing it.

Usually I was writing the first draft in about 8 hours, then spending about 4 hours a day for 3 to 5 days editing. So total hours was about 24 hours of actual work, to have an end result of a story anything from 2,000 to 10,000 words long. Most were around 4,000 words.


When I'm doing the 8 hour fiction contest, which I tried to do every month for about a year, you are only allowed 8 hours to write, edit, format, make the cover, and publish to Kindle the story. My 8 hour fiction entries are usually only around 1,000 words because of the limit in time to work on them. It's really hectic though. There are people who doing it weekly and daily - I don't know how they do it. I struggled to do it once a month! LOL!

I don't think there is a cut off point of when to give up on a story that is taking too long to write.

Perhaps if you are having trouble, maybe it just means you need to set it aside for a couple of weeks and work on something else. Then go back to it later and maybe you'll see it from a new perspective and see something you missed?

I've done that before. Had a story, I just couldn't get written. Set it aside and write a few other stories. Then about 2 years later I thought of a story and I was like: "Wait... didn't I already start a story like that?" Yep. That one I set aside. Turns out all it needed was for me to forget about it for a while and then think up a new idea to add to it.


It varies a lot. I've written flash pieces of around 1000 words in an hour, edited them in the next hour and sent them off. Up to 5000 words I can generally get all done start to submission in a day. I rarely spend more than two days on any short story, and at most they get 2 drafts then a final polish before going out the door. 

Then again, I've had plenty of practice. I passed number 400 sometime this year. ( I've lost count. )williemeikle 

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400 is a huge number.Denevius

Website: A Crow's Flying


Not really. He said it was flash fiction (1,000 words) that's only 400,000 words. I reach 200,000 every NaNoWriMo since 2004, made it past 500,000 one year. When I'm working on a novel I write around 17,000 words a day, it usually takes me around 2 weeks to write the first draft of a novel (120,000 words). Most years I'm writing more then 3million words a year. (I also type 91 words a minute which is 5,000 words an hour).

So, for me, I look at the 400 flash fiction story totalling 400,000 words in a year, and think that, really not that much when you look at the numbers... not when you are talking about someone who is writing full time and doesn't have an outside job taking up their time. It's a lot if it were longer works, or if you were talking about a college student mom trying to write between family, classes, and 2 jobs. 

My point is... you can't just look at the numbers, you have to look at the person behind the numbers. Someone with years of practice has a ritual habit schedule that helps them flow quickly through the process, someone new to writing hasn't yet gotten their optimal flow situated yet. Someone with multiple jobs and small children has less hours per day to write then some one (like myself) who is a retired senior and has nothing but time to write all day long.

We each work at different speeds, different flows, and against different life situations. Some of us only have an hour per day to write, others have nothing else but writing to do. All these factors make a difference in each person's output.

There are a lot of bloggers who, though not writing fiction, are writing long form (2,000 words or more) blog posts each and every day. That's 365 articles of 2,000 words each year. Hundreds of bloggers do this, thousands of bloggers do this. 

If you head to reddit there's a sub over there for writing prompts, and it has 11million members, and if you start reading the daily submissions, you start to notice there are flash fiction writers over there who are posting 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or more short stories a day. (It's a subreddit where people post their daily flash fiction for others to read). They way surpass 600 stories written in a year and there's a LOT of them doing it. (And not getting paid either... I'm surprised, more of them don't seek to get published because a lot of it's really good, but they say they aren't interested in writing as a career, they just want to share their work online.)

So, yeah, 400 flash fictions in a year, not really that big of a number when you compare it to a lot of other writing out there. It's all about perspective and who and what you are comparing it to.


yes... so the main thing I take from this thread is that it shouldn't take me so long :p

I think I know when I want a story to work, but that's not of course the same thing.Harlequin 



Nah. Everybody works at their own pace, with the time they have available, around the life and family responsibilities they have. There's no right or wrong answer here. Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone's life situation is different. Every one's experience level is different. There's no such thing as writing too slow or too fast. The only time you can be writing too slow is if you are working for a company and you are missing deadlines - say a newspaper reporter - the boss isn't gonna hang on to a reporter that submits a news story a week after it happened. But if you are not working for someone else who gave you a deadline, then, no, don't worry about it and just take your time. No reason to rush it.

I think the worse thing we can do as authors is try to compare ourselves to other authors. It's way too easy to look at someone else's output and say: "That should be me, why can't I do that?" But we don''t know the other person's situation. We don't know what their training, experience, school, work, family, health, and life situation is. Just because they are writing the same genre as us, don't mean they have the same life situations as us. There are just too many variables for any author to compare themselves to any other author. We have to compare our current output with our life situations and not with what other authors write. Plus being very prolific and writing lots of words is not always a good thing either.

Me, when I was doing the 52 stories in 52 weeks thing, I was writing short stories as my full time career. I had to be putting out a high number in order to pay the bills. But most people who write short stories are not doing it as a full time career and can work at a much less hectic pace. And it was a very hectic pace for me, which is part of the reason why I don't do it anymore! LOL! It was just draining physically, mentally, and emotionally to try to keep up with that sort of pace. Sure I put out a lot of work, but looking back it wasn't always my best work because it was rushed.

These past few years I write much slower now than I did when I was younger and am only publishing stuff every couple of months instead of every week now. Which gives me more time to do other things. And that's something to consider as well. The more time you devote to writing, the less time you have for other things.


I should add that I might think about a story off and on for months before I sit down to write it. I am only counting the time from when I start writing. By then I have decided exactly what happens in the story and how long it will be.0veinglory 


Yep, me too. I keep a notebook full of ideas so that I don't forget them. It may be a year or more before I get around to actually writing the story after I've thought of it.



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 I live where pink unicorns eat butterflies & poop rainbows. 
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The Top 202 Most Visited Pages of 2017

Seeing how on October 15, 2017, we reached 10,000 pages, I thought it'd be fun to update the Top 100 List and see where were were now.

Top 202 Most Viewed Pages Of 2017 So Far
(Out of 10,000 pages)

(January 2017 to October 2017)
(Excluding the Home PageAbout Page, and Site Map Page, which were the top 3)

  1. Amphibious Aliens: The Story of Etiole & The World's Most Haunted Car
  2. The GoldenEagle: An Auto-biography of the World's Most Haunted Car
  3. Medieval Servants: Their jobs and their place in historical fiction.
  4. How Long is 50,000 Words?
  5. On being a handicapped CosPlayer at PortCon Maine 2017
  6. Stephen King's The Thinner and The Gypsies Of Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  7. Writing Mute Characters
  8. Flamboyant Nipples: The KKK's New Gay Hating Site About Old Orchard Beach | The Site That Makes Fun of Terrorist Hate Crimes
  9. Writing Dares Random Generator
  10. Don't put flyers on people's cars...
  11. The Saco River Curse
  12. Our Primary Site Topic Is Small Penis? Reaching #1 on Page 1 of Google.
  13. Help FBI End Anti-Gay White Power Terrorist Attacks of Old Orchard Beach
  14. Creating Character Profiles | Meet The Characters | Who Is Quaraun?
  15. Introduction To The Quaraun Series: aka Too Gay For Old Orchard Beach
  16. The Dazzling Razzberry aka EelKat's Autism Awareness Car
  17. Autism, Asperger, PTSD, & Mad Cow: Writing Clinical Insanity Accurately | What is wrong with Quaraun? 
  18. Quaraun Free To Read Online Complete Chapter Index In Chronological Order
  19. Necromancy: Fact Vs Fiction; Or How Can You Be A Necromancer In Real Life?
  20. 600 Pages: Epic Big Super Sized Novels and Why You Should Never Write One
  21. Why Crude Adult Comedy and Pink Humor Yaoi Is Not Erotica
  22. The FBI In Old Orchard Beach, Maine Trying To Capture A Domestic Terrorist
  23. One Gypsy's Review of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
  24. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 1 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  25. Autism, Asperger's, And The Danger of The Self-Diagnosis
  26. Spell Casting Side Effects: Magic In Quaraun's Universe | Author Interview
  27. What Type of Music Does A Gypsy Listen To? My Top 10 Favorite Bands
  28. Beware of White Men In Gypsy Clothing: Fake Psychic Scams
  29. How long does it take to hit 1667 words?
  30. How to Write A Kiss
  31. Phookas
  32. Creating Character Profiles | Meet The Characters | Who Is GhoulSpawn?
  33. Albino Races - Moon Elves In The Quaraun Series
  34. Daily Writing Prompts (June 2017 Archive)
  35. My 30th Anniversary of Being Transgender
  36. Why Are The Quaraun Books Rated M18+
  37. How to Write Hot Sex - Tips For Erotic Romance Authors
  38. The Zaharam-Chapelle-Parunas Ethnographical World Building Questionnaire
  39. The Jiggler & The G-String Teddy Bears | The Adventures of Quaraun The Insane
  40. What exactly makes an Elf an Elf? (What is the definition of an Elf?)
  41. Online Income: The Reality vs The Fantasy
  42. World's Most Haunted Car Merchandise
  43. I Am Not GhoulSpawn | Excerpt From Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  44. Old Orchard Beach Hate Crimes
  45. BoomFuzzy Chapter 1 (Novel Excerpt - Quaraun The Insane)
  46. How can your books have gay transvestite characters and not be Erotica? or Why are gay haters beating up elderly woman for wearing pink for breast cancer awareness and saying she's a transexual because only transexuals wear pink?
  47. EelKat's Guide To NaNoWriMo Featuring The 13 Step Method To Writing
  48. Autism and the Stigmas - Why Can’t You Accept Me As Me?
  49. Maine UFO Sightings
  50. Page 11 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - The Scottish Traveller Crime Family
  51. Psychedelics In A 'High' High Fantasy World (High Elves Getting High)
  52. KBoards, The NaNoWriMo ML Rumor & The Vindictive Stalker
  53. Writing Racist Characters VS The Ku Klux Klan In Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  54. Captured By The Lich Lord | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  55. How To Build A Magic System
  56. I've everything but a kitchen sink. Wait, how'd that sink get in my pocket?
  57. Stephen King's Thinner Gypsies & The Ku Klux Klan of Old Orchard Beach
  58. Autistic Characters In Fiction
  59. City of The Slushies | Chapter 7 | Quaraun The Insane
  60. Manuscript Reading Services or Will You Read My Book and Tell Me What You Think?
  61. Suicide, Rape, and Abuse In The Quaraun Series
  62. Wizards vs Witches vs Sorcerers: How are they different? | Writing Fantasy Books
  63. FRED: Google's Most Deadly Update Ever?
  64. How To Write A Novel: Question Everything Before Putting It In Your World
  65. Content writing: How long do you spend creating a quality blog post?
  66. SBI: To Review or Not to Review? That Is The Question
  67. Twerking Dragons: The Joys Of Writing A Novel With A Voice Recorder
  68. A Day At Witch Pond & Fleeing To The Forest | Summoner of Darkness
  69. Transgender, Transsexual, Transvestite, or Intersex: What Is Quaraun?
  70. Sheep | GhoulSpawn The Crazed & The Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  71. Colour Magic - Gypsy Style
  72. Ideas, Ideas, Ideas (Where Do You Get Them?)
  73. Keywords & Pigeons: How I Do Local Business Marketing
  74. Quaraun & Autism In Fantasy Novels
  75. The Signs Of Old Orchard Beach & The FBI Investigation Of The Town Hall
  76. Tom Addams & The Warrior's Forum
  77. A Field of Poppies On The Road To Witch Pond | Summoner of Darkness
  78. An Elf and a Lich in the Gingerbread Pit | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  79. Markiplier Jacksepticeye and Pewdiepie Play Resident Evil 7
  80. Santa Claus: Lich Of The North Pole (Includes NSFW 18+ CBT Yaoi scene)
  81. A Motorhome named 'No Hurry' becomes Rosebud & The Story of Ten Kidnapped Cats
  82. Create Original Content aka I Hate Jackass Gutter Scum Thieves
  83. Lost In a Space That Isn't There: Going North To Head South
  84. An Elf Gone Mad: The Rise of The Pink Necromancer
  85. Aspergers is NOT Autism
  86. Is The Quaraun Series Erotica? - No! Here's why...
  87. Summoner of Darkness: GhoulSpawn and Quaraun Trapped With A Phooka
  88. The Dungeon Master & The 1974 AMC Gremlin
  89. The Lich's True Form Revealed | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  90. Using work you already started for national novel writing month?
  91. World-building In The Quaraun Series: Creating a Fantasy World
  92. Books in Vacationland 2017
  93. BoomFuzzy's Gingerbread House From Hell
  94. Lets Playing Is No Longer Fun
  95. Santa's Floating Dead Body | A Scene From The Summoner of Darkness
  96. The Banshee Sisters: Bean-Nighe and Ben-Neeyah In the Swamp of Death
  97. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 2 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  98. What vlogging equipment is needed to get started as a YouTube vlogger?
  99. April 2015 Update: Too Gay For Old Orchard Beach: The Kidnapped Cats
  100. Betta Fish Aesthetic on Pinterest
  101. Domain Name Branding: Should You Put Your Brand Name In Your URL?
  102. Life As A YouTuber: How To Earn An Income From Making Videos
  103. Making YouTube Videos: How did you decide what content to make?
  104. Page 4 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  105. Twighilight Not Twilight
  106. YouTube Index
  107. Amphibious Aliens: My health since the stroke and Etiole . . .
  108. Are You A Satan Worshiper?
  109. Average Typing Speed
  110. Custom Leggings - Designs By EelKat
  111. Ernest Hemingway Style of Writing Literary Fiction Used In Epic Fantasy Novels
  112. Google Flagged Your Site! What To Do? (Help For Web Masters)
  113. How valuable is a writer’s group?
  114. Lives Destroyed: Amphibious Aliens 10th Anniversary Update
  115. Lost In a Space That Isn't There: Santa's Letter To Satan
  116. Summoner of Darkness: Quaraun Meets The Gremlin
  117. The Terrorists of Old Orchard Beach Put My Dad In a Coma
  118. Using Yahoo Answers to promote your book and author website.
  119. What Is This Site?
  120. You Stole My Idea - I was writing a book, but you already wrote it 10 years ago!
  121. City of The Slushies | Chapter 1 | Quaraun The Insane
  122. Creative Writing Story Prompts: September 2017 Edition
  123. Dungeons and Dragons: The Joys Of Calculating Gold Weight In AD&D 2ed
  124. Fabric Designed By EelKat
  125. My Fave YouTubers Play: Dream Daddy - The Yaoi Dad Dating Sim Otome Game
  126. Necromancy: How will resurrection affect society as a whole?
  127. Page 7 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  128. Pink Flowers Aesthetic on Pinterest
  129. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 12 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  130. What will a traveler encounter on the roads in your world?
  131. Are you insane? Am I? Let's Find Out...
  132. Becoming A Better Writer: How to write interesting dialogue.
  133. Character Creation
  134. Copper Cockeral Cards & Gifts
  135. Elves, Drugs, and Opium: A Look At The Drug Use In The Quaraun Books
  136. How To Stay Motivated To Write | Writing Fantasy Books
  137. Jewelry Fashions in Moon Elf Culture | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  138. Keyword Marketing - What to do when your best keywords are low demand
  139. Magic Systems and How to Build Them | Writing Fantasy Books
  140. NaNoWriMo Overachievers: How did you do it?
  141. Quaraun Cover Art Gallery | Fantasy Novel Book Cover Art
  142. Quaraun The Insane : Zebulon's Captive: The Last of The Moon Elves
  143. SEO Advantages of Embedding YouTube Videos On Your Website
  144. Summoner of Darkness: A Tavern Scene - Chastity Cages, and Whores
  145. Summoner of Darkness: The Return of ZooLock (free to read online)
  146. Twighlight Not Twilight Part 2
  147. Vanishing Books Update - Why 27 of my books were deleted off Amazon
  148. What is a God in Your Universe? | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  149. Writing Maine: How To Write About Maine Life Accurately
  150. What the Ocean Gives Me (How Things In Your Life Affect Your Writing)
  151. City of The Slushies | Chapter 14 | Quaraun The Insane
  152. February 10, 2008 - Harassment Continues in Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  153. How does a bestselling book become a bestseller?
  154. Marriage in Moon Elf Culture | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  155. People are not interested in long winded copy
  156. September 26, 2017 - The Latest Attack By The KKK on The Thinner Gypsies
  157. Spending Money To Make Money Online? Should You Do It?
  158. Summoner of Darkness: The Demon Cultists and The Coming of The Darkness
  159. Summoner of Darkness: The Map of The Town (novel free to read online)
  160. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY | Completionist Run: Episode 01
  161. Trespassers: April 2007 Updates
  162. Turning Scenes, Into Stories & Writing Travelogue Style Fantasy Books
  163. Where To Get Endless Ideas For Short Stories, Novels, and Articles
  164. Writing Controversial Books: Political Correctness & White Supremacists
  165. Are Bad Reviews Good For You?
  166. Branding Yourself While Avoiding The Scams | EelKat On Content Writing
  167. Child Sacrifice in Fantasy Novels | Writing Fantasy Books
  168. How to Handle Writing Fantasy-Horror That Features Violence Against Children
  169. How would you explain your Fantasy world to a stranger?
  170. Page 6 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  171. Summoner of Darkness: HellBorne The Evil, Lord of Black Tower
  172. The return of Friends Are Forever - Banned and Burned it's about to be reborn!
  173. Why do Lovecraftian beings come to earth?
  174. Writing Prompts Syndrome?
  175. Autism = The Crazy Cat Woman of Maine
  176. Autism: Understanding what is really going on inside the child’s head.
  177. But what exactly IS a full time income?
  178. Content Marketing & writing: How I write content for my website
  179. Do you write a novel start-to-finish?
  180. GhoulSpawn and The Lich Lord's Lover: How To Kill a Lich
  181. How is it that the church leaders are claiming you do not pay tithes?
  182. How To Write A Novel: In what order do you create your world?
  183. I loved my children but I loved BoomFuzzy more | From Quaraun The Insane
  184. My Two Favorite People: FarDarrig and The Baby That Never Should Have Been
  185. Need help writing characters of color | EelKat on racist white readers
  186. Quaraun and the Amazon Adult Filter
  187. Quaraun GhoulSpawn and The Lich Lord's Lover: The Lover's Triangle
  188. Summoner of Darkness: Where Are You Hiding That Horse?
  189. Tired of people who don’t care. :( Tired of the harassment. :(
  190. What would happen if an Elf adopted a Human baby? | Writing Fantasy Books
  191. Page 10 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  192. Page 3 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  193. Page 8 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  194. SCRIPT FRENZY 2010: I WON! & Psycho Stalker Attacks
  195. Wristlets, Wrist Bags, Mini Clutch, Cosmetic Bags, and Designer Mini Purses
  196. Writing Your Novel: Do you save chapters as individual files?
  197. Are old AD&D adventures still any use to current players?
  198. Autistics Have Feelings Too & Diverse Books Rant
  199. Be True To You: YouTube Gamers: "Faking" a personality until you make it?
  200. City of The Slushies | Chapter 10 | Quaraun The Insane
  201. HEA in Erotica (Should You Write Happily Ever Afters?)
  202. Stephen King's Thinner Gypsies



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“Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can't get away with screwing people over your whole life, I don't care who you are. What goes aroMy Two Favorite People: FarDarrig and The Baby That Never Should Have Been

Need help writing characters of color | EelKat on racist white readers

und comes around. That's how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.” 

― Jessica Brody


"By autistic standards, the “normal” brain is easily distractible, is obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail and routine. Thus people on the spectrum experience the neurotypical world as relentlessly unpredictable and chaotic, perpetually turned up too loud, and full of people who have little respect for personal space." 

— Steve Silberman



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“When people see you're happy doing what you're doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.” 

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