1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Create short stories from your main story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Stammis, Jun 16, 2016.

    So, I have this massive fantasy story worked out, around three novels worth, and defiantly equally as many books worth in back story. But, as many have pointed out, nobody wants to take a chance o an unknown author, especially if it is a trilogy. My question is, do you think it is a good idea to take some of the back story and make them into short stories? You know, events that are only there to enrich the trilogy to begin with, or do you think that would ruin trilogy instead?

    The aim to garner interest in my trilogy before the trilogy is finished.

    The trilogy is written in third person, but I think it would be interesting to write the short stories in first person; kind of like a journal or a diary of a character that is not in the main story.
     
  2. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I'm no authority on this kind of thing, but I've thought about it before and I'd like reading little tasters.
     
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  3. LHudson
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    LHudson New Member

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    Short stories would be neat as an entryway to your feature presentation. Heck, The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny is just a collection of short stories that enhanced the Witcher saga that was published later.
     
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  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    As long as the trilogy still makes sense - taking out backstories doesn't make characters' motivations incomprehensible - I'd say go for it, though I'm not sure how effective it would be in getting peoples' interest. Could be worth a shot, though.
     
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  5. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Personally i never read short stories off the back of a novel, they just don't hold my interest. I don't know your story but i've come across a similar scenario with mine. The backstory which leads to the current situation that my book is about, is getting to the point where it can be a book in its own right. I refer to the backstory as briefly as possible, only in order to give necessary info, so today i had the idea that the second book would be the whole backstory, explaining how things came about, but thats mainly because of the surprise ending of book one. Maybe you could do something along those lines?
     
  6. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Maybe, but I want to be as vague as possible about the details of the back story. I want to leave room for interpretation for the reader. So I think short story is a better format for that.
     
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  7. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    Your post makes it sound like the main purpose of writing the short story would be to garner more interests for the novels. If this is the case, I personally would just put the effort into making the novel the best it can be, and trying to get that sold/published/up and running. If the genuine passion isn't in the short stories, I think that would ultimately leak through in the writing.
     
  8. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    Short stories (especially if they're freebies) might be a bad idea. What you could also do is a "prequel novel". The Maradaine Constabulary series does this - one standalone novel, set some time before the series with a different cast, that introduces us to the setting and possibly leads into it (the series references events and characters from the novel). I'm considering doing something similar myself.
     
  9. Auger
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    Auger Senior Member

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    It's probably not a good idea for the format you plan on doing. If the short story is not exposition-heavy, readers might not recognize that your series takes place in the same universe. If it is exposition-heavy, the information may seem forced and detract from the quality. I think it's a better idea to write these short stories after the trilogy - like DLC.
     
  10. KevinMcCormack
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    KevinMcCormack Member

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    You sort of read my mind on this one. My novel trilogy is taking a lot of time to polish through drafts, and part of the process involved ditching subplots that just didn't add anything to the main arc. My decision was to take some of these and flesh them out into short stories that could be used for a variety of purposes, "TBD" and may include some of the following:
    • short story contests
    • submission to anthologies (i have a specific one in mind that is my writer's life goal)
    • branding awareness on my blog/website (which doesn't actually exist at this point, just thinking ahead)
    • an "in universe short story collection" - a la Fleming's James Bond short story collections that were published intermittently between novels
    • character essays, won't be published, but i would use them to flesh out a character's 'backstory' which will be in my head when i write her into a novel

    I find the short stories give me a mental break from the drudgery of novel polishing, as well, even though they're still "in universe". My feeling is that it leverages prior work that was good, but whose only crime that got them scrapped was that they were not a good fit for the novels.
     
  11. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I've done similarly. I have a novel W.I.P. and a collection of short stories based in and around all my major characters. I would urge caution, as I realised I was using my shorts as a means of side-stepping finishing my W.I.P. I lied to myself that I was fleshing out the world and its characters by giving a prospective reader snack sized bites but, basically, my short stories were a form of procrastination.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016

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