Wednesday, July 12, 2017
To Novel or To Short Story?
As long as I can remember, my focus has been on writing the great novel. It started with young adult stories, then adult contemporary and psychological thrillers. Every time I came up with an idea, I was filled with the excitement of starting something new. The old stories left unfinished.
I've critiqued other writers who've written short stories and appreciated their efforts but never thought that it was something I wanted to pursue... until now.
If you're like me and haven't considered writing short stories, here are a few reasons why they might be worth diving into:
1) They are much shorter and thus take less time
I know - it's an obvious one.
2) You can experiment with writing craft
Have a style you're interested in or a craft element (i.e. metaphors, magical realism) you want to play with? A short story allows you to develop these skills without major investment.
3) Beginnings, middles and ends
Short stories allow you to practice completing a story and seeing it through the entire arc.
4) Opportunities to be published
Novels (usually) take a long time to complete and once complete, you must go through a significant length of time for submission. Because short stories take less time, you have greater opportunities to send them out to literary journals and have them potentially published, thus building your street cred as you continue to pursue your great novel.
5) Sometimes you just need a break
Sometimes, you might be too engrossed in that one great novel. Short stories allow you to stretch and exercise your mind. Think of things in different points of view and examine ideas and characters you might not have thought about.