I was looking at your impressive and somewhat staggering statistics, and after accepting that I will still have a long way to go toward the "least capable of brevity" award even if and when the UNSWS dethrones JM76 from the #2 spot, I noticed you described some of your work as "vignettes". Even more intriguing, Vignettes is a category and has been for a decade, but none of your works are in it. Was "vignette" once a classification for fiction shorter than a short story which has since fallen by the wayside, or was that merely a stylistic choice on your part?
Hey, apparently I never responded to this. How unusual and disappointing of me--sorry about that. I didn't use the category of Vignettes because I wasn't aware it existed. I instead categorized my handful of vignettes into the Yanibar Tales category, itself a subcategory of short story. While I could go back and add vignettes to the stories in question, I am not sure that having a piece be in both Short Stories and Vignettes is appropriate. Thoughts?
It's an intriguing question, particularly because Brandon didn't supply a definition for "vignettes" when he made the category. The common definition of "a short, one-scene, character-focused story" seems to apply, though; of the four works so categorized, all of them are one scene, and the longest is 2,319 words. Brandon's own contribution is substantially shorter than even that, at 306 words.
I think the "one-scene, character-focused" part is more relevant to the definition of a vignette than the "short" part, especially because, if a work holds to those first two requirements, the third one should usually follow naturally. In other words, short story/novella/novel is about length, while vignette is more about the nature of the content. On that alone, I don't see any inherent conflict in something being labeled both a short story and a vignette; if someone tried to sell me on something being both a novella and a vignette, I might be more skeptical.
I suppose the counterargument is that short story, novella, and novel—based as they are on word count alone—have hard, objective criteria which any user can apply to properly categorize a work. "Vignette" is more amorphous; it's hard to come up with criteria other than "shorter than a novella" and "it is because the author says it is". Maybe you could add a "no more than one subpage, with no scene breaks" criterion to enforce the "one scene" aspect.
" In other words, short story/novella/novel is about length, while vignette is more about the nature of the content. On that alone, I don't see any inherent conflict in something being labeled both a short story and a vignette; "
I agree with this. There's no harm in having both categories. Vignette to me seems mostly superfluous as a category anyway since 1) there are so few of them, and 2) there's not a tremendous push on this wiki to properly categorize fan-fiction. I would be okay with both deleting the category and merging its current occupants into short stories, or with leaving it as is. I may revisit the labeling of those works of mine since I believe some of them are not technically vignettes as one or two might have little postludes that are technically scene breaks.
I agree with both your points. I went through last year and cleaned house in Novels, recategorizing the Future novels and Novels in progress, but that's the most I've accomplished toward proper categorization.