How Do I Classify My Story?

One question I am asked by other writers is how to classify their stories.  Is it a novel, novella, novelette, or short story etc?

There is some confusion in regard to  page count too.  Page count is irrelevant when it comes to how to classify your story because the number of pages can change depending on how you format your piece of writing.  Classification is all about word count.  But, when it comes to word count, there isn’t really a universal standard or official decision.

For the purpose of the Nebula Awards, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website provide these classifications below.  I use this general guide for my own writing.

Novel: 40,000 words or more
Novella: 17,500 – 39,999 words
Novelette: 7,500 – 17,499 words
Short Story: 7,499 words or fewer

My additions to their definitions to allow for Flash Fiction are below.

Short Story: 7,499 to 1001
Flash Fiction: 1000 or fewer

This article on Wiki is helpful.

Also, different genres shoot for specific word counts when it comes to publishing.  Writer’s digest has a good article detailing the different boundaries (here).

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Boy in the Drain (Released!)

Boy in the Drain by Daniel Bastion is now available to be purchased.  Editions include various eBook formats and print.  Purchase page here.

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EVE Online: Hoarder

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Caldari State
The Forge Region
Kimotoro Constellation
Kisogo System
Planet VII
Station: State War Academy

Cages rattled and vibrated when the thick doors opened. The vault was large, blast proof, and sound transmission was null. Nothing in and out without the capsuleer’s complete approval, encrypted code, voice print, embedded biochip, and biosecurity scans. This was her most important activity where she let her maternal instincts fully come to the surface.

“Oh, my sweet dears,” she cooed gently, petting their beautiful, sweet heads. “Mommy had such a long day of teaching and instruction with those obstinate, arrogant brats. I just needed to come see my perfect babies.” All the chittering and chattering of her hazy eyed pets made her feel needed. She barely noticed the stench.

Lesha stopped at each cage and gave her attention to each one in turn. Stroking their hair, squeezing their faces, checking their vitals. “Perfect health makes for a happy, playful life,” she encouraged. “Oh, my darlings, you all make me so happy. Are you ready for dinner?” Her sing song voice carried from the entrance to the back wall.

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EVE Online: Breach

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Caldari State
The Forge Region
Aulari Constellation
Airaken System
Planet VI – Moon 1
Station: Sisters of EVE Bureau

“What is wrong with you?” Cornelias asked, slamming a palm down on the desk in front of him. His subordinate, Wilik Horis Tols jerked up from having rested his head on a stack of reports. His densely cluttered desk was a disaster zone, and the blow rattled the precarious stacks around him. They strained, almost in slow motion, to upend themselves, mounds of unending work toppling in all directions. Wilik breathed a sigh of relief when they settled without falling.

“I’m on my lunch break, sir,” Wilik explained in a mild voice. “I thought a small nap on my time would make me more productive this afternoon. For the good of the corporation.”

Cornelias swiped his wrist device and a holographic projection appeared with all of his staff’s schedules available for perusal. He pulled up Wilik and eyed it carefully. Satisfied he shut it down. “Quite right,” he offered reluctantly. “I received a request from the top brass on an old case. I want you to rummage through your, um, work load and bring it over for discussion. I’ll send the details.”

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EVE Online: The Unfinished Game

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Gallante Federation
Verge Vendor Region
Aideron Constellation
Stou System
Planet VII

White tables filled the white room where everyone dressed in white. Joesen sat with his protected forehead resting on the hard surface in front of him. His long, untied robe hung open. The white shirt and pants he wore were freshly washed, smelled fresh, and his soft slippers kept his feet warm. The tall three sets of doors to the outside let in the frosty air. It smelled pleasant compared to the smell of Tarmin’s shit that permeated the place most of the time.

Joesen raised his head up and looked toward the high, bland ceiling. His pale green eyes looked beyond the long windows, beyond the blue, beyond the atmosphere to the stars above. Of course, he could not see them during the day, but he knew they were there. The Gallente form tattoos streaked his pale face, his features gaunt and thin gave him an unhealthy appearance.

“Fuck!” Joesen yelled, bringing his head down to strike the table. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Each word was followed by a heavy head slam. The staff of the facility learned quickly that Joesen needed something to keep him from injuring his head on any nearby surface, so they shaved his head and put on a white safety helmet. He seemed to like it, so he did not fight them.

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EVE Online: Bloat

Story formerly titled “Cracked Capsule”

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Gallante Federation
Sinq Laison Region
Coriault Constellation
Dodixie System
Planet IX – Moon 9
Station: Nugoeihuvi Corporation Development Studio

“Routine and more routine,” Gennis said as he closed out another transaction shaking his head. “Pilots fly out, get the crap beat out of their ships, fly back in, and want repairs. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Provide a quote. Eat lunch. Deal made. Make sure the replacement parts are formed just so. Better get that paint right, Gennis, they say. Like it all shiny, they do! Go home. Eat dinner. Go to bed. No real challenge anymore.”

“Makes for a good living, plenty of ISK to pay for the honies and brews,” Eduard commented as he scrolled through a list of current repair requests. Glancing over at Gennis he winked and grinned.

“Wipe that shit eating grin off your face,” Gennis said with his grouchy look. “Easy for a young journeyman, such as yourself, to say. I got a business to run, mouths to feed, and a wife who likes to fucking shop. Not to mention the deadbeats I employ.”

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EVE Online: Fragmented – Tumble (Part 5)

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Location: Unknown

Groggy and on the edge of euphoria, the woman opened her eyes. Her nose and mouth felt covered, but she could take expanding, deep breaths. The small window of her confined space revealed the unexpected. She could barely move in the tiny, coffin sized tube, but at least she could look out.

The stars greeted her in their twinkling voices. They may only be burning points in the black canvas of space, but she found the sweetness of their light glorious. A deep need for compassion ached within her heart, and she found it anywhere she could in her trauma.

Outside, to her right, ships of all sizes appeared to be fighting one another. Some invoked a deep hatred, the ones with extensions like wings and their rusty colored surfaces. The others made her feel afraid with their bulbous bodies and sharp spikes. Threat and hate all merged together inside her.

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EVE Online: Fragmented – Holoreels and the Box (Part 4)

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Minmatar Republic
Heimatar Region
Wiedadur Constellation
Rokofur System
Planet IX
Station: The Leisure Group Development Studio

Clouds twisted and rolled over the surface of the blue, oceanic planet outside the wide view port of the station. Energy from the system’s star heated the atmosphere and continued the unending cycle of storm building and release. Lightning danced among the swirling mists wrapped around the central low pressure of a powerful hurricane in view. A maelstrom that would find no land to hinder its way, wreaking havoc among the various types of colonies floating down on the surface that failed to prepare. Industrial or otherwise, none would be spared from the violence.

Light from the star flashed off a long, metallic blade as Jun ran a sharpening stone along its edge. The slow, rhythmic work focused his mind as the sound of the stone on the forged, folded metal filled his ears. His nostrils flared, breathing in the heavy scent of the applied oil. His dark colored eyes focused on the stone as he guided it. Strong, agile fingers manipulated the work with precision.

“I know. I know,” Jun said. His voice was low and rich in tone, unhurried in cadence, even sounded friendly to the listeners. Turning from the wide view port, he focused his eyes on the man sitting in a very comfortable recliner in the posh quarters. Placing the sharpening stone on a table to his left, he picked up a thick cloth and wiped his blade several times.

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EVE Online: Fragmented – Residual Cinders (Part 3)

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Amarr Empire
Devoid Region
Enka Constellation
Mili System
Planet X

Hearing the screech from Madam Lowis Va’nel, a venerable middle aged woman, the capsuleer slipped his hand into his pocket and activated a small device. It vibrated for a second in response. Stepping away to the side of the room, he watched as the red faced woman stormed down the second level stairs. Her eyes were blazing with fury having witnessed her second child’s family betrayal. Her three female attendants ran after her, and a couple of family guards followed.

Her wild emotions shook her entire frame, and tears filled her eyes as she focused on Dewn. Mirroring her son’s attire in style, she wore an elegant black and gold dress. Gold implements adorned her carefully sculpted blond hair, and a string of pearls spun together in gold, graced her neck. In every way, she was the perfect Amarrian family matriarch. Strong in spirit, mind, and body she walked right up to her son and slapped him across the face.

The blow was ferocious and caused Dewn to take a step back. “What have you done?” she screamed, following him. “I was told by my secretary you wanted to meet to discuss the colony on planet two, but instead I find you consorting with brutes! Filthy, unbelieving savages! What have you done to your sister?” She struck him across the face again.

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EVE Online: Fragmented – Fall and Rise (Part 2)

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Amarr Empire
Devoid Region
Enka Constellation
Mili System
Planet X

Waiting was its own torment, and Dewn Va’nel seethed with impatience. His office was extravagant and ornamented with gold. The second level loft was lined with book shelves, filled with volumes and curiosities from all over the empire. He spared no expense in his pursuits.

The large desk that dominated the room was coverered in electronic displays, archaic writing implements, papers, and a historical piece discovered during a recent archeological trip. The tall, domed ceiling was gilded and several artists illustrated past historical events in the open panels available. None of it was enough.

All of the plush couches and chairs in the room were empty save one. A tall, dark haired Amarrian sat comfortably, wearing his military style uniform. His highly polished boots reflected the light from the crackling fire in the hearth, and he took a sip from the glass of Mili’s finest wines. “I don’t normally indulge in such a beverage,” he said. “But, today I admit it is worth my attention.”

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EVE Online: Fragmented – Star of Blood (Part 1)

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Amarr Empire
Devoid Region
Semou Constellation
Sifilar System

Some called the Mehatoor to Mili run a fools gambit. Low security, pirate gangs, outlaws, organized crime, and systems torn asunder by state sworn capsuleer militias burning space with their continuous conflagration.  All together, it melted the journey into a dangerous and high risk corridor.

Numerous colonized worlds hewed out an existence in the midst of the turmoil. Out in the Enka constellation, the Amarrian Holders stubbornly clung to power for the glory of the Amarrian god and empire. The Va’nel family was old lineage and traced their ancestors to the home world. Strong, regal, and cunning they held their small holding together despite the adversity and chaos.

Rebellion or war, they would endure in deep faith, by the powerful weapons of the Amarr war machine, the strength of the Amarrian population, and upon the laboring backs of their slaves. Even if their neighboring Holders fell to lack of faith and personal failure, plunging their own territories into regression, weakness, and lawlessness, the Va’nels would stand firm.

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Spinnie the Spider

White tile stretched far in one direction and another as the small spider looked around.  He ventured from the tiny hole next to his intricate web looking for something to eat.  Hunger poked at him.  The large bathroom was barren with no prey.

“You better get back here!  It’s too dangerous!” Gnatty said.

Spinnie spun around and eyed the gnat flittering about the opening to his home.  Gnatty got caught in his web a while back, and his chatty, humorous nature touched the spider.  So he decided not to eat him.  He wasn’t even big enough for a snack anyway.

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Iron of the Innocent: Standing the Wall

Author’s Note: This additional scene takes place during  Chapter 24 of Mistress of Agony (Iron of the Innocent, Volume 2).  These characters do not appear in the novel.  Spoiler warning!  I recommend reading this after you read that chapter.  Click below being fully informed.

274 I.C.
Solorn Kingdom
Solorn Province
City of Clendon

Characters: Evtaf, Linsei, and Mersius

Stone and mortar, the city wall was a heavy barrier against the danger beyond.  It was wide enough to walk and fight.  Its edifice tall enough to keep out the unwanted, and its parapets designed to protect those willing to die to keep it secure.

Three soldiers assigned on the east side for their duty shift stood their post.  The night felt tense, and the black, threatening clouds came closer.  One of the soldiers sniffed the air and rubbed his face.  Rain was coming, and the thought made him feel even more miserable.  He grumbled to himself.

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On Magic…

The concept of magic is mythological, ancient, and has developed up into our contemporary times.  No one really has an answer to the exact nature of magic or where the idea began in history.  It may simply be an answer to explain what some people did not understand long ago.  Human beings are quite creative with expansive imaginations, so someone, somewhere, came up with the idea at some point in the ancient past.  Their motivations, reasons, and purposes are unknown, lost in time.

Historically, the use of the concept has taken on many iterations in human society for better or worse.  In some cases to invoke fear in enemies (important to some in a brutal, dangerous world), to deceive (one reason for religious objections), gain prosperity (cha-ching!), to feel protected from the unknown/unseen, gain favor (or love!), or as a way for some people to feel empowered (I’m strong!).  Others have a desire to feel important by gaining some secret knowledge or ability that others do not have.  One example today driven by the prosperity motivation are illusionists.  They use illusion and slight of hand to entertain a paying audience.

In the end, we know that magic is simply not real.  Nope, not real at all.

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EVE Online: Dark Ripple

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Caldari Space
The Forge region
Etsala Constellation

Volatile energy and scorching heat flowed from the star, wrapping around the shield’s outer surface with incredible pressure.  Cloaked against sensors, scanners, or prying eyes, the six-winged craft refracted the light, holding the radiation and burning chaos away.  Within the protective fields and surrounded by advanced technology, a capsuleer waited, intimately connected to every system of her anchored ship.

Multiple hours drifted by as she patiently watched.  Yet, she did not study the massive, stellar inferno to her aft.  Those days passed some time ago.  Instead, her attention focused in the direction of a structure far in the distance as data fed directly into her mind from multiple probes.  The pack of technological devices sniffed and listened with keen senses sending their encrypted, silent signals to their matron.

When her watch began, Ari marveled at the large amount of irrelevant information caused by the busy, large star system, but she quickly sifted, adjusted, and positioned her probes to the exact location she needed.  The stream of ships coming and going from the station kept a portion of her enhanced mind occupied as she looked for a particular signature.

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Dust (Released!)

Dust by Daniel Bastion is now available to be purchased.  Editions include various eBook formats and print.  Purchase page here.

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Mailing List and Free eBook

Hello there fellow fantasy lovers and readers!  I hope you are having a wonderful day so far.  It is Friday!  Which, is always a good feeling kind of day.

I want to make it better!

Join my email list and receive a free eBook! Sign up now on the contact page here.

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Iron of the Innocent (Series Development)

Development of Iron of the Innocent began a long time ago and continues up until now.  The world and many of the characters are 25-33 years old, having been first conceived in the mid 80s.  In 1988, I began playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition.  Stepping into the role of dungeon master required the continued development of a world, lore, NPCs, kingdoms, maps, and everything else that was needed for the characters to explore.  My imagination burned bright.  While AD&D inspired me to flesh out my story ideas, AD&D is only a system of rules to play a game based in the vivid imagination of the player(s).

As I mentioned in my last post, my first character was a  mage and I named him Dragas Blackwind.  That was also the name of my character in the Ultima game series I played back in the mid 80s.  He does make an appearance in the books, and it was quite enjoyable to write him.   Tarn Silvershield, Olis Dreer, Shydler Wresgoth, Tarak Ordain, Shanora Naur, Verdrin Solorn, Sartonius Walsh and others were all player characters designed to interact in the created world.  I also played them in other various game worlds too as avatars.

Sacren itself is a vast world with multiple continents and oceans.  Making and designing maps was sparked from Tolkien’s wonderful map of Middle Earth.  One of my favorite cartographers (map artist!) was Karen Wynn Fonstad.  She was an incredible atlas designer who mapped out Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and others.  You can find her work here on Amazon.  I spent hours going over her books, and she definitely inspired my own map making.

It has been a long wonderful road to get here, and I look forward to writing much more in this series.  I hope you as the reader and audience join me!  🙂

I always enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to email or leave feedback.  You can also join my email mailing list for news and special offers.  Check out the contact page.

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Love for Fantasy…

My love for fantasy is deeply embedded in my life.

When creating characters, I like to explore their backstory and personalities, and one way I do that is looking at their lives as a whole.  I personally believe each of us has a seed of personality that begins in the womb, and that multiple variables and experiences will shape us over time.  It is an ongoing process from the beginning of life to the end.   Looking at others and myself while developing characters has been helpful, and I discovered that my love of fantasy, which has heavily shaped my life, goes all the way back to early childhood.

Visiting a local theater, one of my first exposures to fantasy was the 1981 movie, Dragonslayer.  Galen’s adventures with Valeria and Ulrich against the dragon Vermithrax left a long lasting impression on me.  Still one of my favorite portrayals of a dragon on film ever.  Reign of Fire and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit did well with the dragons.

Disney’s 1963 Sword in the Stone, the animated 1977 The Hobbit, 1981 movie Excalibur, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon (1983-1985), and Black Cauldron in 1985 all solidified my love for fantasy.   Wrapped into all of that was plenty of science fiction that drew me into the fold as well.  Star Wars does have swords after all.  🙂

I began reading books in early elementary, and by the summer after 5th grade I decided to read Tolkien.  In downtown Grandbury Texas, there was a store called ‘Books on the Square’.  The ladies were very nice and seemed excited that I was a young reader.  I worked with my father everyday for $5, and I spent just about all of it from that summer visit at that store.  I bought plenty of Choose Your Own Adventure books, Time Machine books, and a boxed set of The Lord of the Rings that included The Hobbit.

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Iron of the Innocent Vol 2: Mistress of Agony (Released!)

Iron of the Innocent: Mistress of Agony by Daniel Bastion is now available to be purchased.  Editions include various eBook formats and print.  Purchase page here.

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Iron of the Innocent – TDJ Interior Art Work

This art work appears in the print version of Iron of the Innocent Vol 1: The Dark Judge.  I decided to display them here on the web site since the eBook version is unable to handle them.

I’d like to thank Catavic for his interior artwork.  Translating and capturing my vision of characters is no easy task.

Olis Dreer and Tarn Silvershield

Shydler Wresgoth

Dreydan Ruin

Dalora Blacksword

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Area Map (Iron of the Innocent)

Unfortunately, the eBook is unable to handle/display a proper map for the story of Iron of the Innocent.  The print book has a black and white version, but I wanted to give readers the color version here.  Click on the map below to see the full size.

This is only a small portion of the world of Sacren.

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Received print copies of EVE Online: Vortex and Star Wars: Marooned today.  Always exciting to see printed work.  Unfortunately, these are not available to the public in print as they are fan fiction, but you can still read them for free (eBooks) on this site (epub, .pdf, or online).

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EVE Online: Vortex

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EVE Online: Chronicles of the Vortex is a collection of fifteen short stories by Daniel Bastion set in the EVE science fiction universe.  They were presented to the judges and capsuleer community during the yearly Pod & Planet Fiction Contest.

Included is the short story “Gauss” that won 1st place in the “8,000 Suns in New Eden” lore based category as well as seven other prize winning entries (Corruption, Crossfire, Infiltration, Touch the Stars, Dark Ripple, The Unfinished Game, and Breach).

“From the beginnings of the EVE Universe, its inhabitants were born into chaos, forever struggling to create order only to write a new chapter of discord in the annals of history.  Rising, clashing, and discovering, just to fall again as the machinations of their efforts and ambitions extend beyond their control.” – EVE Online

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Iron of the Innocent (Main Theme)

Composed by Nichal Aracchande.
Producers: Nichal Aracchande, Daniel Bastion

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