I love writing short stories. They’re FAST and fun to write, and to publish, of course. One of our Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances students asked whether there was a secret to writing and self publishing short stories.
Here’s the big short story secret: set a deadline. Then meet the deadline. As several of my students have noticed, although you can write short stories more quickly than you can novels, you can also spend more time tinkering with them.
I’m ghostwriting three (yes, THREE) series of short stories and novellas at the moment. Although I write my first drafts quickly – remember, cr*ppy first drafts – I also tend to tinker. Then I need to mentally slap myself around the ear.
For example, this morning I had just another few hundred words to write on a story, when I found myself rewriting the first scene. This is just one form of tinkering. The scene was fine, as a first draft scene. I may not even want to include it in the final draft, but I got a sudden rush of blood to the head and decided to tinker.
Tinkering is a profitless exercise. Because, you need to…
Write in Series, and Set a Deadline for the Series.
As I said in Quick Fiction Tips: More Series Secrets (Make One Free):
You’ll sell more books, over time, when you write in series, and you can always bundle your short stories and novellas, and sell the compilations, as well as the individual ebooks.
Therefore, when you’re writing a short story, think about turning it into a series. Plan the series as you write the story. You can start with four stories in the series. In the above linked article I gave you some ideas on how you can tie the stories in a series together, so I won’t repeat that material here.
Then, once all four are published, you can make one permanently free, and sell a compilation of all four stories, as a bundle. (You’ll keep selling the individual stories as well – this makes the bundle more attractive.)
Once you’ve planned the stories in the series, give each one a deadline. Then, no matter what, meet the deadline. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes to your output. When you have a deadline, it goes a long way to eliminating the temptation to tinker.
Earlier this week, we looked at four productivity tips too. They’ll help you to write your short stories.
So, in summary: set a deadline for your short story. Do it today. You’ll get it done, and published.
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