Write of Way #4 – Write Short Stories
Are you a writer? Are you a novelist? Are you a living, breathing person who owns a pen and paper? Then you should be writing short stories.
Well, not actually now. Finish reading this post first. Then go write the hell out of a short story!
But why? Why is this stranger on the internet demanding I go write short stories? What’s his deal?
Well, my friend, do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior the short story?
Short stories are like that good friend who’s always got your back. I mean, they aren’t going to come over to help you move or anything, but they are cool in other ways.
And besides, if they don’t help you move, then you don’t have to pay them in beer and pizza. Simple math then dictates that short stories equal more beer and pizza for you!
I’ve had some success with short stories and am here to tell you that short stories rock. You should be writing them.
I can’t stress this enough. Write. Short. Stories.
Excuse me if I seem passionate about this, I am.
I could probably ramble for another hundred thousand words about why short stories are literally (read: not literally) cooler than liquid nitrogen, but y’all ain’t got time for that and neither do I.
Instead of regaling you with a five volume installment on the awesomeness of short stories, I’m going to deliver my case in four quick points.
The Master Says So
George R.R. Martin thinks you should. Need I say more? Read the third paragraph on this page.
You Will Learn
Short stories are microcosms of novels. They require pretty much everything a novel does.
Plotting? Yup, they need that.
Character arcs? Those too.
How about believable dialogue? Yes.
Backstory? Uh huh.
But what about—Yes.
If a novel needs it, so does a short story, just on a smaller scale. Virtually every short story you write serves as wonderful practice for that novel you’re planning / writing / agonizing over for hours on end editing.
Want to write a powerful novel? It starts with powerful short stories.
You Won’t Burn Out
A little while back I rambled at y’all about the importance of writing like Forrest Gump. Doing so is critical to ensure you don’t exhaust your writing muscles.
Burning out is no joke and can have serious ramifications for your creative process.
You know what’s a perfect way to avoid burning out? Writing short stories.
Take a break from your main project to write a short story and you won’t just keep your creative flame burning, you’ll end up with another finished product. A product that you can publish.
And that brings us to my last point.
You Will Get Published
The number of short story contests each year is staggering. There are a lot. Like, a lot a lot.
Compared to the long-shot odds of getting a novel published, getting a short story published is significantly more likely. It takes less work, there’re more chances, and sometimes, you get paid for your efforts.
Oh, and the most important point?
Because short stories are microcosms of novels, every one you write not only has a chance of getting published, it improves the chances your novel will get published.
See how those two go together? Beautiful, isn’t it? Are you beginning to understand my fanaticism for writing short stories?
Short stories will get you published. They will build your reputation. They will give you the perfect medium to prove you’ve got what it takes to make this writing thing a career.
Write short stories.
But for real. Do it. They will improve your writing, they will stop you from burning out, and they will get you published.
Now get out there and write the hell out of a short story!
As always, I love to hear your thoughts. Have you written any short stories? What did you or did you not enjoy about them? Can I read them? I’d like to read them. Please? Let me know below!