What is the difference between a short story and a novel?  

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Their are perhaps several differences between short stories and novels, but length is probably the most obvious and least clarified of these differences. Obviously the short story is going t be shorter in length than the novel, but no one including writers and publishers have really established a length criteria. In addition, the novella must be considered between the short story and the novel, but here again there is no clear criteria on recognized length.

That being said, made their appearance as a result of oral tales being passed down through the ages being written down. So stories would logically be one of the oldest written genres. Stories have all of the elements of novels (or vice versa)--plot, characters, theme, setting, rising action, climax, falling action, and etc., and stories also use the same literary conventions that novels use. Although, all things considered, these will not be as developed, perhaps, as they might be in a novel. With the addition of "short-shorts" to the modern genres, stories take less time with development of character action and really zero in on character reaction.

Novels are longer, more developed, if you will, pieces of writing. An interesting development with regard to novels is the depiction of true life events into a fictional format. Truman Capote recognized his novel In Cold Blood as such a piece of writing, as did Elie Weisel in his novel, Night.