For the longest time I strongly believed that I had to write an entire novel because that is what I thought readers and the market wanted. Now my thinking has changed a great deal. This past year I had written four short stories that were a part of four anthologies.
It was an eye opening experience crafting short stories when previously my other writing experience had only been magazine and newspaper articles, posts here at WG2E and two full manuscripts (including my debut novel LIQUID LIES).
One of my friends in the industry, a very successful and multi published author, had preached that writers need to only work on full length novels. She went onto to say that authors should not waste their precious writing time creating short stories. Just in the past few months this very same friend is now shouting from the rooftop a whole different tune.
What is it? The buzz for 2013- short stories are hot hot hot. It seems that people love a story. They want to read short stories while their get their oil changed, wait for an appointment, stuck in carpool, during their lunch break and so on. Short stories are: instant gratification, quick, easy and satisfying.
As Talli said in her post on January 8, 2013 http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/using-short-stories-to-drive-sales short stories can drive readers to author’s other books as well.
Short stories can also give readers a little more to read of their favorite character(s). For example I wrote “CHRISTMAS CORPSE CAPER” as a prequel to LIQUID LIES. I took one of the main characters in the novel, Mark Stevens, and featured him in his own story. Some readers may start with the short story then want to read more and get the novel. Or some may have already read the novel and want to read the short story prequel.
Because short stories are becoming so popular, a group of writers have created a website called Lunchtime Reads. A great place for readers to find short stories, and if you are an author and would like to feature your short story on the website please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have I given up writing full length novels? No.
But I am now making sure I also write a few short stories as well to tie into my existing novels, or to lead into new ones.
How about you- what are your thoughts on short stores? Have you written any?
The Best of Short Story Wishes — Lois Lavrisa