Why does writing a short story have more freedom than a novel? I've heard that it gives you more range.
I think short stories have more freedom than novels because, counter-intuitively, they are shorter. A short story doesn’t need to sustain itself for as long. It can be highly experimental as a result. Something drastic and strange can be pulled off in 4000 words but might not work in 80 000, because in a story that long the structure would need to be more readable with a more traditional sense of escalation. If you wanted you could probably write a short story from the perspective of a rotting watermelon, where as the watermelon rots the writing becomes jumbled and harder to read until eventually it’s just the word dirt repeated for a paragraph and that’s the end. Would you be able to write this as a novel? I mean, sure you can try, but something really strange and out there is better suited to the short form. You can break rules more because the time investment is shorter for the reader, so the payout of an atypical story can be the strangeness and not the satisfaction of a well set-up ending. Not that more traditionally structured short stories can’t be amazing. They obviously can be, I just think short stories better accommodate weirdness.
I love novels and short stories, and am first a novelist and second a short story writer. I avoided short stories for so long under the notion that they ‘are too restrictive!’ But, no. They are the opposite. You have the reign to do basically anything no matter how wacky.