Difference Between Novel and Short Story

Novel vs Short Story

Novel and Short story are two words used in literature. These two terms should be understood differently. A novel is a long form of writing. It is fiction in character. It is imaginative, and is written out of the power of creativity in the writer. On the other hand, a short story as the name itself indicates is a short form of writing, usually written about an incident, an episode or a character in someone’s life. This is the basic difference between the two words.

A novel is a long literary form, whereas a short story is a short literary form. A writer who writes a novel is called a novelist, whereas a person who writes a short story is a short story writer. It is quite natural that a novelist also writes short stories. Hence, it is possible that a novelist can be a short story writer too. The converse is also true. A short story writer can also be a novelist.

A novel is usually divided into various chapters, sometimes numbered and sometimes not numbered. The story is usually spread for a good number of years of the main character of the novel. Many other characters that are associated with the main character appear and go in a novel.

On the other hand, a short story is not characterized by many characters. The main character of course is supported by a few other characters that add importance to the short story. It will be easy for the reader to remember the characters that appear in a short story. On the other hand, it may not be very easy for a reader to remember all the characters appearing in a novel. This is due to the large size of a novel.

A writer usually takes several years to complete a novel. On the other hand, a short story can be written in a short span of time. This is an important difference between the two. Sometimes a novel is written quickly too and it depends upon the concentration and the time the writer takes to write on a daily basis.

In the same way, reading a novel also takes more time when compared to the time taken to read a short story. Writing a novel is more flexible than writing a short story. This is due to the fact that the story writer has to covey the important message to the readers by means of the short story, which is short in length.

On the other hand, a novelist has all the time in the world to expand the story, introduce as many characters as he wanted, related the characters in the way he liked, make changes in the story whenever he wanted, and use his creativity to build the climax at the end of the story. A short story on the other hand cannot take the liberty of dealing with the details of any given incident in the story. It is more message-oriented than a novel. These are the differences between novel and short story.