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Benefits of Writing a Short Story

Hi everyone! So this is another short story post. Loosely connected to the post I did last week. Since last week a lot of exciting things have happened!




First I wrote three in a half short stories (I'm working on the third) and I'm thinking about sharing them on here like what Mariella Hunt does on her blog. I really enjoy reading her short stories on there and I want to try doing that too. You can find her blog Here.




Also, another very exciting development is that I have all of Weapon Icean back from the editor! All of it! So I'm going through and accepting all the changes she's done through Track Changes (Track Changes is amazing and I love word for having that program). Then I have to go back through and read through the many comments (because I guess there are sort of a lot of plot holes I didn't notice before...) and then implement those comments. After that I plan to go through again and read through it just to make sure everything's all good and then it'll be finished! My first real, edited, finished book! Can you tell my excited? ;) Once all that is done there will be a cover and then a launch and I'm going to put Weapon Icean out there for all to see. So... that's super exciting.


Now, I should probably get to the actual post. I've come to love short stories. Novels are great and their fun and exciting for me to write but they take a lot of work and time and effort. Not a bad thing but it can also be exhausting. Weapon Icean has taken me almost a whole year to completely finish. But with a short story it takes about a week to write, revise, edit and polish. Their fun little stories to write where you can dip into a world and the head of a character and then come out of it feeling like you accomplished something.


So here's five benefits and reasons why writers (new and old) should write a short story:


  1. Instant Gratification: Every writer knows that writing anything takes a lot of patience. Novels, non-fiction self help books. Anything. You first write the first draft and then go through this long and sometimes messy process of making that one draft as perfect as possible. It's an exciting and fulfilling process. But sometimes it's not very rewarding. You write and write and write. Revise, revise, revise. Read, read, read. And what do you get out of it? Nothing. At least not for about a year or so. Not until you put the book out and work hard to grow a loyal fan base and maybe earn some money. Short stories on the other hand are great for instant gratification and reward. You can finish one in a day or two, take a step back and admire your work. If your hardcore (which I'm thinking of being) you can even revise and edit, get a cover and put it out on Kindle. But short stories are also great for tired novelists. I have two-three series going that I want to write and frankly my brain is tired. Writing a few short stories is relaxing and gives me that feeling of reward and gratification.
  2. Practice: Writing short stories is great practice! In a novel you have about 60,000 or more words to fit in world building, character development, plot and subplots. You have a lot of room to move around and do stuff. It's pretty easy -- well not easy but easier -- to fight tons of stuff in there. In a short story, not so easy. You have to squish plot, character development and world building into this little three or four page story. Some short stories span longer to about twenty even twenty-five pages but usually their only a few pages long. It takes a lot of good practice and rewarding work to master the art of the short story.
  3. Roots: Short stories don’t have restrictions besides word count. You don’t have to follow rules of a genre. Writing a short story gives you the chance to stretch your creativity muscles, to really work them hard. Just start writing and see where the story and character leads you. Don’t worry about genre restrictions. If you want to write a short story about sci-fi vampires or evil zombie fairies go ahead. Just have fun with it. Let your novel filled brain relax and give yourself a break. Take a break and go back to your roots. Short stories can remind you why you love writing, even make you feel a nostalgic to when you were a baby writer and thought the little scenes and short stories you wrote were the best. They give your brain a rest and a chance to just let loose, be yourself and be creative.
  4. Cure to Writer’s Block or Burnout: If your suffering from writer’s block or writer’s burnout short stories can help. It all depends on the person but if your desperate and you feel blocked or just tired because you’ve been writing five thousand words a day or like ten pages a day and your brain is just exhausted short stories can help. Especially if you get out a journal or just plain paper, grab a pen or pencil and just write freehand. Write a few pages. Tap into that part of you that loves writing. Forget about your many projects or just that one WIP that is driving you crazy and write. You can even write an origin story or a short story about a certain character you’re having trouble with in your largest project. Take a step back from your computer and get in touch with why you love writing. Let your creativity run free for a little while and writer’s block or burnout or both should disappear.
  5. Expand and Experiment: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in one of the other four benefits but I can’t stress this enough. Writing a short story lets you expand your horizons and experiment with new genres. If you’re used to writing Amish romance, try writing contemporary romance or go wild and write some science fiction. Short stories allow you to dip your toes into new genres, new characters, and new settings. Sort of like testing the waters without taking up too much of your time and energy. Maybe you end up realizing you are really good at writing fantasy or really enjoy writing YA contemporary romance. You wouldn’t have known that if you didn’t write a short story in that genre.
These are just a few benefits of writing short stories or at least giving it a try. I think the most important aspect of a short story is letting go and being creative, being yourself. Experimenting and just enjoying yourself. Even if you decide to write short stories professionally you can still enjoy writing them maybe even more than you enjoy writing a full length novel.


I hope you found this post helpful! I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a book review out on Friday, first because I'm always busy on Fridays now that classes have started and second I haven't been reading that much. I can't seem to find a good book that I actually want to finish. About halfway through a book or near the end at the moment I end up losing interest and just giving up on it because the stakes aren't very high...


Anyways, that's a post for another day. Hope you guys have a great rest of the week!


What do you think of short stories? Have you ever read or tried to write one?




Comments

  1. Congratulations on getting all of the feedback on Weapon Icean, Melody! Can't wait to see the story in print!
    I tried to write a short story once. Tried ... and failed, because it was like the characters went, "Nope; we wanna go farther than thirty pages," and it stretched out into the length of a novella! It was fun and satisfying to write though, and the process really lines up with a lot of what you say in this post. :)

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  2. Thanks! Haha short stories can be super hard.

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