How to Write Longer Stories

Whether you’re writing a novel, a novella, or a screenplay, you may find it difficult to come up with the right number of words required to complete it. When you conceptualize a story idea, you only have the main plot figured out. And at times, the story’s resolution isn’t ready before you begin to write.

This challenge can leave you with an uphill struggle to make your story longer and even complete it. If you want to be able to stretch out your story plot into publishable content, you must endeavour to learn how to write longer stories.

Here are a few tips that will aid you in accomplishing this writing goal:

Create more characters

One of the easiest ways to make your stories longer is by adding more characters. This doesn’t only help to increase the number of dialogues that are in the story, it also increases the conflict as well. It is definitely possible to expand your story’s plot into a more robust work of fiction by adding more active players.

You must, however, ensure that the characters you add to the story actually have a significant impact on the direction of the plot. This is necessary to avoid writing a story that is boring and laden with irrelevant conflicts.

It is better to use already existing characters in a story to create new ones that will further propagate the story’s message. This method makes it easier to mesh the characters with the established plot. It also makes certain that you do not have to change the plot of the story in order to accommodate the new additions.

For example, if you’re writing a story about a high school teen with superpowers that is been hunted by a dangerous monster, you can include family members of the protagonist as well as school friends to the list of characters. This will help expand the plot and make the story longer.

How to Write Longer Stories

Add more sub-plots

Another way to make your story longer is to include additional plots to the main plot of your story. This works by creating more conflicts in the story that will all need to be resolved before it ends. By doing so, the story’s length is extended and its word-count is increased.

Often times, when a subplot is included in a story, it leads to the creation of new characters. This domino effect leads to the expansion of the story and inevitably makes it longer.

When adding subplots to your story, you must make certain that the story doesn’t move away from the course of the main plot. If that happens, it will affect the entire structure of the story and this can make its direction to deviate to an alternate resolution.

So try to keep the sub-plots closely related to the main plot of the story. If you must deviate from the direction of the main plot, ensure that you are able to use a plot device to get the story back on track.

Expand on your world-building

World-building is the process of bringing the setting of your story to life so that readers can better appreciate it. It makes your story whole by providing a sort of backdrop for your characters and the plot.

Without world-building, short-stories, novels, and screenplays will be very tedious to read. Readers will also struggle to picture each prominent scene in the story since no apt description of the scenery takes place.

One way of engaging in world-building is to let it take place simultaneously with the unravelling plot. It is also possible to devote a part of the story solely to the description of the scenery without incorporating the plot.

You can make a story longer with the proper use of world-building. Whether you decide to incorporate the world-building process into the plot of the story or dedicate a part of the story to the device, you’re guaranteed an outcome that satisfies the desired word-count.

You should, however, be careful when using world building to increase your story’s length. It is possible to get carried away with the description process and fail to move to the plot forward. This will lead to a story that drags unnecessarily with its resolution nowhere in sight.

Describe each impactful scene clearly

When writing a story, be it novel, short story or screenplay, it is easy for you to gloss over pertinent scenes to the main plot because you assume that they are irrelevant. This doesn’t only limit the word-count of your story, it also ruins the quality of the entire story for your readers.

You can be easily tempted to rush through a story because you want to complete it as soon as possible. Doing this is erroneous though, and will only have a negative impact on the story.

Firstly, failing to properly treat each pertinent scene will certainly lead to the development of a story that will fail to engage and compel its readers.

Secondly, it drastically reduces the word-count of your story and this may hinder your chances of securing publication if that is what you seek.


If you want to write longer stories, you should endeavour to adhere to the tips given in this article. It is your best shot at achieving this goal. You should, however, focus on writing stories that are captivating and compelling. Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better.