Writing short stories is a great way for a new fiction author to kickstart his career. Here’s why: when you’re comfortable writing short stories, you know the shape of a story, so you’ll avoid common pitfalls which plague novelists, no matter how experienced they are.
We’ve just relaunched Story Power: Write and Sell Short Fiction, one of our most popular classes to help you to get started writing short stories.
Writing short stories: some benefits
I adore instant gratification — hence blogging, and writing short stories. 😉 (I’m kidding, but there’s a grain of truth there, nevertheless.) When you write a blog post, you hit the Publish button, and hey presto — done.
Similarly, you can get an idea for a short story, and hit the Publish button on Amazon whenever you feel that your self-publishing efforts need a boost.
Let’s look at some benefits of writing short stories.
- Boost your novels (just add an excerpt to the novel you want to boost at the end of your story);
- Testing genres. I’m a ghostwriter, and love it, but there’s always a client who asks “can you write — (whatever, a genre new to me)”. If I’ve never written in that genre before, I’ll spend a few hours writing a short story in the genre before taking his money;
- Eliminating procrastination. If you’ve been wanting to write a novel for the past five years, why not write a short story first? Writing short stories helps to fix procrastination whether you’re having trouble getting started or are stuck in the middle of a novel.
Why you should write short stories if you’re a new fiction author and want to write novels
Your mileage may vary, of course, but for me, and for many of my students, writing a short story provides an easy entrée to writing a novel.
For example, let’s say that you want to write a mystery novel. You’ve been thinking and making notes, but you’re not sure about your central character. Ideally, you’d like him to become the center character in a series of novels, rather than a standalone novel.
Try “auditioning” your sleuth via a short story. You’ll soon know whether or not you could write a novel using this character — your own enthusiasm (or lack of it) will tell you.
The big danger for new authors when they attempt a novel is that they lose control of their story. Believe me, it’s easily done, no matter how many novels you’ve written.
You’ll know when you’ve lost control. It’s dispiriting for new authors. An experienced author knows how to manipulate the story to get on tack. A new author decides either to push on regardless, and ends up with a novel that goes nowhere. Or he decides that he’s not meant to be a novelist when all he lacks is the experience to fix things.
Above all, writing short stories helps you to get fiction writing experience, that most valuable of commodities.
It’s back: Story Power: Write and Sell Short Fiction — Short Stories, Serials, and Series
Story Power is for you if you want short story mastery.
It’s our most popular writing class, and it’s a lot of fun. Whether you’re a new author or are an experienced pro, this class will help.
As I point out:
In 2018, NOTHING is more important for authors than building readership. When Amazon lists 100,000 ebooks published in the past 30 days, that’s a lot of ebooks. Discoverability is essential. Short fiction helps your readers to find you.
Check out Story Power.
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