1. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    Book of Short Stories

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pink-Angel-1992, Feb 25, 2012.

    I know there a book that are a collection of short stories, though I don't know much about them, like if all stories are by different authors or what. Anyways, as like a side project or practice to my main story that I'm planning, I thinking about doing another, which will be more like a collection of short stories following the same characters. I've tried Googling my question but couldn't find an answer, though I don't see why not. My question is:

    Can a book be a collection of short stories following the same characters?

    There'd be an underlining story , an underlining pupose. For example, a girls father get remarried and they move in with her father's new wife, in a different town; the girl has to get use to her new home and new mother, as well as her stepmother's children, and then there is the new school and making new friends etc. That's not my idea I'm thinking about, but getting use to a new place and life is.

    If you like, think of it as a TV series but in book form would be the best way to describe it, with each chapter being another 'episode'. I'd like some opinions on the formate, but either way, I think that's the way I'll write the idea.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If you're a good writer, and the stories are interesting, then yeah. Do it.

    Generally speaking, it's very hard to publish a book of short stories if you're not a well-known writer already. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, because you can always publish it after being well known. ;) Or use the stories separately in other publications, or etc.
     
  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like it. It has scope for writing something that is not constrained, that is fresh.

    Best way to find out is to have a go. :)

    Let us know how you get on.
     
  4. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    Yes, there called novels.

    By definition you'd be writing a novel with an unorthodox style.

    In a short story compilation each chapter has a unique setting, character(s), and plot. Meaning you can read one random chapter from the compilation and put the book down while experiencing the same thing as somebody who read from cover to cover.
     
  5. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    If this is how you want to write your story then just go ahead and write it. You shouldn't be worrying about whether or not other people think it's the right/wrong way to go about it - it's your story, not theirs.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    mark is right, it wouldn't be a short story collection, but only a novel with self-contained chapters, since i assume the 'stories'/chapters would be sequential and not jumping around in time...

    short story collections can be by a single author, or be a selection of stories by various authors... and unless the writers are well known, paying publishers won't take them on...
     
  7. AntisocialMoose
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    AntisocialMoose Member

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    "The Things They Carried" by Tim Obrien is described as a "collection of related stories" (wikipedia). This might be what you're thinking of. You may want to read this book to get a feel for it. It's a very good book, in my opinion. Also that phrase I quoted above Links to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_story_cycle That might help you.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I'm definatlly going to give it a try; writting is more just a hobby then a career choice, so I'm not so bothered about getting them published or being a well known author (at least at this moment in time, who knows in the future). Besides, I know that there a online publishers, though from what I've seen, the books are sold a lot cheaper so you'd need to sell a few, but it would be a little extra money in your pocket.

    The idea that I'm going to try this with will have an order to them, and though some may need to be read in a certain order or before something (like the inital story that start is all off), I going to try and make it so that most stories (chapers) could be read in any order and still make sense.
     
  9. IncompleteSenten
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    IncompleteSenten New Member

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    Another book you might want to look at is "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by Jean Shepherd. This is the book that was tweaked to become the storyline for the movie "A Christmas Story". In it Ralph goes back to his childhood town and relives some childhood memories. Each memory is its own chapter.

    If you get inspired by the book please PLEASE don't have your character flash back to a flashback. (Seriously, that's what he did.)
     
  10. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    The idea behind the story is the MC having to get use to a new life that was thrust upon her, a new life she can't escape. There might be small snipits where she remebers her prior life, but flashback are definally not going to take hold of the story, because it is about her present, her current situation.
     
  11. baggy
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    baggy Member

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    Hi I'm pretty sure a book of short stories by the same author is a collection and if by different authors it's an anthology. I've recently had 2 short stories published in anthologies sponsored by my local arts alliance. One of those stories caught the attention of the selector that facillitates the publishing. He has what he likes to call a publishing hut, he writes and self publishes. He's invited me to join him and another writer in an anthology as he liked the MC in my second story.

    I have written 6 stories so far (and #7 is nearly done) using the same character. I have tried to make each story a separate story as I really didn't want them to seem like chapters although if I ever turn them into a novel it would be easy to do so. I think each story stands on it's own and you could read any one of them individually and still have a complete story, but it's definitely better to read them one after the other. In my situation it's possibly easier to make them less like chapters because my MC is a psychic detective so each story is a different case.

    If for some reason they don't get published I'm not bothered because like you I write because I like to write. I've really enjoyed the process and have learnt a lot. So I say go ahead and do it it's great practice.
     
  12. Imprive
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    Imprive Member

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    Why wouldn't a book be able to be a collection of short stories? A book can be pretty much anything you want it to be, as long as it follows a few conventions. If you are looking for similar books then I know the book World War Z is like that, each chapter follows a different person in a different area during the same event. I believe there is a book or series by Keith Laumer about a type of tank with AI or something called a Bolo, and the stories involving it are mainly short stories. I know Ben Bova did a collection of short stories following the misadventures of one of his more colorful characters named Sam Gunn, I believe the book is called The Ben Gunn Omnibus.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Because you have to convince a publisher to take it on, and their experience is that those books don't sell enough to cover the initial costs.

    You could always self-publish, but you would discover the same thing. The market doesn't contain enough interest to make such a book commercially viable. It will cost you more in start up costs than you will recoup in sales.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Established writers can sell books of short stories. It happens all the time in the science fiction field. But to become established, you should have published short stories in the magazines that serve that genre. If you want to publish a collection of short stories as a book, sell short stories to magazines. Get your name known. Get a fandom.
     
  15. Imprive
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    Imprive Member

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    ooh well yea, if you are thinking in terms of market viability, I thought the OP was just asking in general. And is that with any collection or anthology or just collections where each tale is its own little thing, rather than each tale telling a larger story?
     
  16. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    My goal isn't to sell my books, I'm working on my idea simple because I've enjoyed working some fanfics and I want to write my own, with all my own characters. I planning to get a good feel of my story idea before I start writing. I not to bother if any of the book I write get published and are a success. I may look at publishing them, such to see if I can get a little extra cash.

    Anyways, these stories will follow the same character and have an underlining story - what I'm thinking is it being like following a TV series but instead of watching it on TV it's being read.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you aren't trying to publish, your question is pretty meaningless. You can collect your stories any way you want, and call the collection whatever you want.

    The question only has meaning if you are trying to put it on the market. Ever.
     
  18. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I guess your right, but I never thought of that. Like I said, my goal isn't to get published, but I do want to try and gain a little extra cash from them. When I started planning a different story (isn't done) I did have a quick look at online publishing - my dad showed me a website. So I have thought about publishing them online, though the price of the books on the website I look at were low. I'm still thinking about online publishing just for, as I've said, a little extra cash - I'll look into it more when I've complete a book. But I won't be all bummed out and unset if I can't, though I'd probably be a little disapointed - working hard to write a story and not being able to share it with others would disapoint anyone.

    So getting published isn't really my goal and not the purpose of me writing, but I do want to try and gain a little extra cash from them, especially if I'm really pleased with it.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're contradicting yourself... how can you get any money from your stories if they're not put into print or on the internet and offered for sale?...

    fyi, that is being 'published' whether you're paid by the publisher [= traditionally published] or you pay to have it done [= self-/vanity-published]...
     
  20. topeka sal
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    topeka sal Senior Member

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    There are many short story collections following the same characters that are not considered to be novels. They are called "story cycles" and the difference between this form and the novel is that although they are related, each story can also stand alone.

    As antisocialmoose said, Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" is a good example. Alice Munro wrote some good ones: "Lives of Girls and Women" and "The Beggar Maid". Margaret Atwood's "Moral Disorder" is another. There are many others, but this is all my sleepy brain can come up with at the moment. Anyway, I'd advise you to have a look.
     
  21. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I'm contradicting yourself? Sorry! Being a published author isn't my motervastion, I enjoy writing and want to write my own story and so that is my motervation. I want to see if I can get anything I write published to get a some extra money (as things do cost!). But if I can't, I won't be too bother, because I'd just post it somewhere were people can read it - there are plenty of free sharing sites that I could post it on and let it be read.
     

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