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They try to pack in everything and I include myself in this generalization! True, getting them published is not the easiest thing—definitely not if you expect actual payment. But they can be good for exposure. Rejections from agents and publishers can be discouraging. Getting acceptance letters for short stuff is a nice little confidence booster.

However, I agree that this is pretty much bunk. On the flip side, what Kat says about short stories being less forgiving of over-writing and forcing a tighter focus in your craft. So, sure writing short stories whether you want to bother trying to publish or not can help build novel-writing skills. Just like novel-writing can help develop short story writing skills i. Poetry can help all other forms of writing as well with its extreme emphasis on word selection and imagery.

So write what you want and what the story demands.

How I Published My First Book of Short Stories in 12 Easy Steps

I would agree with Kat. If you at least like reading short stories and have even a little interest in writing them, I think they can prove immensely beneficial in developing the craft. Most of the principles of novel-writing apply to short stories too. I think that the advice to write short stories first is still perfectly valid. Do you have to go that route? There are a lot of things you can learn by writing short stories. Just think. You can create 20 5k stories in the time it takes to create a k novel.

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But one of the biggest learnings is self-editing. You can write the story in a week, and do revisions the next week. There are other benefits to consider. The feeling of accomplishment with completing a written work.

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I do believe computers make this advice less necessary today than say 35 years ago when people were still using typewriters. Back then a re-write meant re-typing an entire manuscript instead of highlight, delete and update. But the benefits of writing shorts are still there and tangible if you just look for them.

I had a zillion story ideas, but I make that a great big capital I was going to turn each of those ideas into its own full length novel. I learned that every good idea does not a novel make, and when the inspirations came for the novels in progress now, they had nothing to do with those old adolescent ideas. However, I kept all those ideas in a notebook, and I have discovered that the concepts behind them could be translated into current work — not as the basis, but as backstory or subplots or even character development. The thinking and dreaming process is never wasted.

I tend to agree with Randy. The advice to young novelists to start with short stories seems akin to telling an aspiring Tennis player that they should start with ping pong.

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Short Stories and Novels are different types of writing and require different skills. The creative writing classes I took in college were aggravating to me because I never wanted to write such short tales. I always ended up just writing the first handful of chapters of a longer idea in my head and then reworking it to have a conclusion while still leaving in the hooks to the rest of the tale. In my view the short story is a VERY particular art form, and it is a mistake and an insult to short story writers everywhere to consider it some sort of warm-up writing exercise for the main event.

Keep in mind that since your short story is, well, shorter than a novel, you may remove a few steps. Knowing the overall character journey, however, can be helpful for character development within short stories. Thankfully, the outlining process for a short story is much easier than a full novel, but I do still advise creating one in order to have a cohesive flow throughout the story. This is definitely useful for those of you who prefer outlining versus just writing by the seat of your pants.

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Concepts of Horror in Fiction ( Writing Tips )

Take this short story called The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry , for example. Done is better than perfect. This is especially the case when it comes to short stories. Once you have your outline and know how to start writing , drafting the short story in full comes next.

That would be like matching your earrings to your pants without first having the full outfit put together. Focus on getting your draft done so you can move on to the next step. Editing is where the real magic happens when it comes to writing. These are a few things to keep an eye out for when editing your short story :. The editing process for short stories is pretty much the same for novels. The only difference is that short stories tend to focus more on imagery and exposition than they do full character and plot development.

The good news? Short story titles are a little less important than titles for novels.

#8 – Practice by writing short stories often

They can also be very abstract. What you want to think of when titling your short story is this:.

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These questions will help you develop a title that not only makes sense, but is also intriguing enough to pull readers in while staying true to what the story is about. No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are as a writer, you need feedback. Allowing others to read your work and offer feedback is one of the best ways to improve and make sure your story is exactly how you want it. Whatever works for you, just get it done. I firmly believe publishing is the most important step to becoming a writer.

Instead, what if you got feedback from a writing friend or even by our Becoming Writer community? One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Do you like to write short stories?

How to Write a Short Story with 11 Easy Steps for Satisfying Stories

What is your favorite part? Let me know in the comments! You have six other steps to do that. Just write.