A propos de moi
Your Shorts – Stop Hiding Them
I get asked about what I write all the time. My general answer is mystery/thrillers and a few short stories. It is when I say that last part that the person asking usually tilts their heads to the left and makes a caveman noise…eh?
Short stories, in my humble opinion, get a bad rap. Most people don’t even take you as a “serious” writer if all you produce is short stories even though there are some folks out there who are making millions off them. (i.e. the Chicken Soup guys) Anthologies are fun and a great way to shake up your writing. I am always working on one, on the side so to speak, because it gives me a break from the larger manuscripts.
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There are also a number of things that writing short stories can do for your novel writing. You can use them as a tool. You can:
Write up a character – Short stories are a great way to build characters. Sometimes, depending on how important a character is to me, I write an entire short story that is the characters backstory.
Novel Samplings – Short stories are a great way to see if a story premise works. If you can write a short story that you can see fleshed out into a novel that’s great. On the other hand, if it doesn’t work, all you’ve spent is a short story.
Use them as a sort of story coffee break – Sometimes we can get so mired in our novels that we paint ourselves into a corner. Short stories are a great way to keep writing although you have stepped away from your manuscript. I used them as a snack break.
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Use them as a way to explore other genres – Curious as to how well you might write a romance or a thriller…write a short story first. Twenty pages should tell you if you were meant to, as a writer of course, kill people or love them. It’s a get tool for exploring.
These are just a few of the ways that using short stories can help within your overall writing experience. Don’t short change them. Because the long and short of it is that they can help. Besides in the short run they may be a lot of fun and you don’t want to get the short end of the stick when it comes to fun…..ok, I’ll stop now…..