peter-lebt wrote:yes, a novel is different from a shortstory.
but: if you cannot manage to write a 20 or 40 pages coherent text - then chances are high you will never be able to complete a novel ...
20 pages of coherent text is one thing. A good short story with a coherent plot, developed characters and a sensible pace is another matter. I have the greatest respect for people who can write good short stories. With a short story, you have to have many of the aspects of a good novel, but with none of the freedom in length. You have to keep everything compact without making it seem rushed.
I can't write short stories. I can write half-page meanderings with no plot. Or I try and get a plot into the story and before I know it I'm at the forty page mark and I'm still adding new aspects to the plotline.
I write novels (the latest set of proofs for my first published novel are sitting on my coffee table right now) but I can't write short stories. Some people can write both but a lot of people can write (at least, write to a standard they're happy with) only one or the other. I don't like the assumption that is often made that short stories can be used as a sort of practice for writing novels. The way to practice writing novels is to start writing novels. The novel which will be published later this year is in fact the fifth attempt I've made at writing a novel (including the really, really awful one I started when I was eleven) that I've completed. The only way to write novels is to start writing one and see what happens (although I accept that quite a lot of authors "start writing" by doing research, plotting, character development, world-building or various other exercises and activities, not necessarily sitting down and starting writing chapter one).