Top 3 reasons why you should be writing short stories.
I often get story ideas and my first instinct is to start writing a trilogy. Not chapters. Not an outline. Not even a book, but a whole lot of them. It’s overwhelming and it is recipe or failure. I’m sure it is not just me but getting over-excited about our good ideas is something we all suffer from. Short stories are not short of creativity, excitement and writing them is not something that requires any less skill than writing a whole book. Instead, it more about executing the ideas right and writing in a way that readers would be intrigued not bored.
Having said that writing a short story is often the better approach and here are a few reasons why you should turn that great plot idea you’ve got into a short story instead.
You’re already working on something
The first and most important reason to write a short story instead of a full-length novella is that (no surprise here) you’re already in the middle of one. Yes, you get an idea and you think you can come back to it but the characters keep developing on their own. They have quirks and strengths and traumas that only you can nail and you’re in the brink of creating a fictional world of your own. The new ‘Neverland’. But here’s what you can do instead.
Write the one that you already started.
There’s no great writing if there is no work ethic.
This does not mean you have to put on hold a potential Neverland but working on two full-length novels is too much for any writer to take on. Even if you’re living off your desk and neither you nor your laptop remembers anymore what it means to shut down.
Don’T DO iT!!!
Might not feel like you’ve done it justice but you can always come back to it. Better yet, you can use the short story as the base and then grow from it.
You can publish it
Write a short story. Make it crisp and then publish it.
Yes, that’s right, publishing short stories is so much easier than publishing a book. There are magazines, writing competitions and awards almost every month that you can send your short stories to. They are great for recognition if you’ve never been published before because all of them give you a chance to showcase your work on their blogs or even in print. The reputable ones might also earn you sizeable cash prizes and publishing deals. Debuting in Household names such as The New Yorker can be a turning point or a strong start off in your career.
It helps to break away from your writing routine and experimenting
Here’s how writing short stories can make you a better writer? You try writing something different for a change and get better at it. A short story can be your much-needed take at another genre. Maybe all that YA writing is getting boring and experimenting with some dark fantasy is all you needed.
Writing short stories is pretty hard. The fact that they are short makes your writing mistakes more obvious. You will be compelled to sharpen your plot and that skill will reflect in your future projects.
Is there any character that you really wanted to write but it would just not fit into anything you were currently working on? A short story is a great way to get to explore all those character ideas that you have been meaning to work on. A short story is also one of the smartest ways to create a rich backstory for a character that can then become an integral part of a larger plot.
Have you been compelled?
Is there any other good reason why we should all be writing more short stories?
Let me know in the comments.
Check out more of my writing advice.