The lost art of writing short stories
Many budding writers tend to overlook writing short stories, and they're making a big mistake. It can take years to write a first draft of a novel, and many more shaping it into a manuscript to be proud of.
Short stories on the other hand can take as little as a few hours to write once you become seasoned at it. And it also allows you to quickly develop a writers' skill set of planning, plotting, writing and rewriting.
Basically short stories are tiny novels. A novel is defined as a piece of fiction writing consisting of at least 60,000 words, but a short story can have as little as 1,000, and flash fiction has only 500.
You can learn a lot more from writing short stories than spending all your time writing your novel. The other added benefit is that all the skills you learn from writing short stories you can apply to your book.
Here's some more reasons why writing short stories is a great way to improve as a writer;
- They're fun to write
- Writing short stories helps you practise the vital skills of constructing a plot and seeing it through to the end, which many people struggle with.
- Allows you to flex your literary muscles.
- Short stories can be written quickly, and once finished can be submitted into competitions and magazines, which if successful allow you to build up a portfolio of work.Handy for if, and when you are seeking a publisher or literary agent.
- It's easy to get feedback from a short story.
- Writing short stories helps you to think up of new ideas, some of which can be expanded into novels.
Writing short stories is also great for practical reasons. I am a very busy person with limited free time but taking a few hours out to write a short story allows me to stay in the process of writing as well as learning new skills.
Remember. Story writing and story telling is a life long apprenticeship. So just enjoy the journey. Just because we read a lot of amazing stories, it doesn't immediately give us the magical ability to write one
If you need any tips on how to write short stories to get yourself started, take a look at one of my previous posts, How to develop a basic story plot