Lynda Young is visiting my blog today to tell you why writing short stories benefits you as a writer. Her short story is part of the gorgeous anthology above.
Thank you, Theresa, for having me here today. Since my short story, Birthright, appears in the recent release of the Make Believe anthology published by J. Taylor Publishing, I thought I'd talk about the benefits of writing short stories.
1. To hone our craft. Because short stories are short compared to novels, they don't allow for rambling text, a gaggle of characters, or oodles of backstory. As a consequence, they help us to be concise in our language and focused on weaving a tight tale. This skill is necessary in all our writing and will reflect in our novels.
2. To refresh our creativity. When a writer has been slaving over a novel for a few months, a year, or more, creativity can take a beating, especially when that writer is entrenched in the editing stage. Taking a break to write a short story can inject life back into our creative minds without losing a lot of time from our novels. I wrote Birthright because I needed a break from my manuscript and came across the call for submissions for Make Believe.
3. To explore a concept. I came up with a great idea for a novel, but I wasn't sure about the world I wanted to set it in. So I wrote a short story purely to explore the concept of the world before I delved into the novel.
4. To build a resume. Building up a body of work gives confidence to agents and publishers. Short stories can help us do this because they are quick to write and easier to get published than novels. A strong resume of published works shows we're serious about our writing career, and it shows we have at least some experience with publishing and deadlines.
5. To expand our platform. Editors, agents, and publishers are looking for writers with a strong platform—yes, even for fiction writers. In other words, they want people who are visible, who have credibility, and have proven they can reach a target audience. Most of us will turn to social media for this platform, but I feel we shouldn't stop there. The more we get our name out there, the better it will be, and short stories are a great delivery system for getting this done.
6. To give us valuable industry experience. It's one thing to read about what happens when a piece is accepted for publication, it's quite another to experience all the processes—the structural edits, line edits, copy edits, marketing requirements and other hodgepodge that goes along with getting published.
7. To bolster our confidence. Confidence is a writer's best friend. The simple act of finishing a project is enough to boost that confidence and short stories allow us to do that.
8. To top up that flailing income. Writing doesn't pay well for most of us, so anything we can do to add to the dribble of income is worth considering. Sure, the first couple of short stories we write and publish won't gain us much, if anything, but as we write more, the coins start to trickle in. Soon you'll be able to afford that stationery set you've always wanted.
Can you think of other benefits of writing short stories?
Why do you, or don't you, write short stories?
What do you like about reading short stories?
About Make Believe: An anthology of fantasy short stories, some set in fantastic worlds, others set in more familiar surroundings, all intriguing and well worth the read (in my humble opinion).
About the Author: Lynda R. Young lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. She writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative.
You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads