You’re writing fiction. You’ve just completed a short story, and the world you created in the story intrigues you. How do you turn your short story into a novel? A romance fiction student asked me that last week, and I thought it an excellent topic for a blog post.
When turning short stories into novels, you have two options. You can expand a story you’ve written into novel length, or you can set a novel in the world of the story you created.
Turning Short Stories Into Novels.
I recently completed a short story that I could easily turn into a novel. The story has three main characters. We meet another couple of characters, and we hear about several other characters.
Without bending my brain too much, I could easily expand the short story. I’d just need to give the main characters more scenes with each other, and with the minor characters too. Everyone has an agenda, so the all the characters’ conflicts could be developed.
I’d need to add many scenes. We looked at the number of scenes in short stories, novellas and novels. Currently my short story has seven scenes.
I could easily come up with another 50 to 60 scenes by developing the characters, and starting the story earlier. The short story starts with a minor scene just before the two main characters meet. Two characters with whom the female character is in conflict have just left. So I could start the story showing the conflict between those characters in a couple of scenes.
Look at your own stories, and think about how you might develop them, to turn them into novels.
Tip: most of the short stories you write will be just that – short stories. You write them, and you’re happy with them. You publish them to Amazon. Occasionally however, you’ll come across stories which could be more.
Using a Short Story World to Craft a Novel.
We’ve talked about writing in series. Perhaps you’ve written a short story or three, and you like the world you created in the stories. Maybe the characters live in a small town, or in a large city. Or one of the characters works for a company, and you feel that there’s so much conflict in the world you created, that you could use that world as the background of a novel.
By “world”, we don’t just mean the setting. We include characters too. In the story we discussed above, a couple of the minor characters who never appear in the story, would make wonderful main characters in a novel. I may yet tell their stories in a couple of novels.
Tip: When You’re Writing a Short Story, Write the Story.
You main goal when you write fiction is to complete it. My students find that finishing a project can be a big challenge. When you’re writing a short story, and think: I could turn this into a novel, resist the impulse to start expanding your story immediately.
You’ll get into a muddle. Complete the short story first. Publish it, and get some distance from it. You can always turn it into a novel later, but only if you complete the story first. If you give in to temptation to expand a story while you’re writing it, chances are that you won’t complete anything. And yes, I speak from my own experiences as well as my students’.
Have fun writing fiction. If a story has potential, it’s exciting to take the story, and develop it further.
Here’s a graphic to summarize the concepts…
Want to write short stories and publish them? Fiction Fiesta gives you everything you need. Just follow the step by step process.
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