1. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Short Stories

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by dizzyspell, May 24, 2011.

    I have written few short stories based around characters in the novel I am working on. It started off as just a writing exercise, but a couple of them have turned out quite well. They are all standalone pieces.

    Would publishing one of these interfere with eventually trying to publish the novel?
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they are based on the characters and not the plot, and you are not copying word for word sections of text, then I don't see it being an hindrance to your novel. Use different names who, but you, will know?

    If you really feel they are too much alike - make some changes.

    Short stories, unless you are an established author, are difficult to get published.
     
  3. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Yeah I know short stories are difficult to publish. It's difficult to get anything published, aye? :) No harm in trying, though!

    My favourite one is basically the back story of two characters in the novel, so if you read them both (regardless of name changes) it'd be obvious the two pieces are related.
    I may just have to let it die for the time being.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Huh? Short stories are, if anything, easier to get published than novels. You don't need an agent, and there are hundreds of places open for submissions. Publishing a short story collection is something you need to be established in order to do, but individual stories are judged on the story itself, not the notoriety of the author.
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    *hands up* you're right. I was meaning a book of ones own short stories.
     
  6. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I'm only talking about one here, to clarify.
    I've written a few, obviously, but only one or two would be close to a publishable standard.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If the stories are capable of standing in their own right, making sense and entertaining on their own, then I can't see any problem. Just take a look at duotrope for places where they might fit, and send them off.
     
  8. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Having the same characters won't pose a problem when I try and get the novel published? No intellectual property issues with whatever publication I submit the short story to?
     
  9. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    You not only can publish short stories that are excerpts of a greater work, but it's often encouraged. If a reader likes the story, they can then like the whole novel.

    You'll probably have to change things a bit to make them stand alone a bit better, but you don't even have to. It's not rare to either publish excerpts from novels as short stories, or to publish short stories that eventually build to a novel, or to write a short story and then expand the idea into a novel. Totally allowable and great publicity, as you can then not only build writing credits as you work on a novel, but point to a publication where your idea and writing is already successful, which bolsters an agents confidence in your work.

    My plan is to published a flash fiction piece, short story, novella, novel and series all of the same characters and ideas... by then you might actually make some money from an idea! :p

    And yeah, it's relatively way easier to publish a short story than a novel (relatively, still not easy, necessarily). I'd go so far as to say it's not even that hard, these days, for anyone that would ever have a chance of getting a novel published. Hundreds? Try thousands of places to publish short stories.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's been done before...

    some major authors turned their short stories into novels... notably dashiell hammett, with stories first published in the pulp magazine, 'black mask': 'the thin man'; the maltese falcon'; and 'the glass key'...

    stephen king may have done it a time or two, also...
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    King is a terrible example. He can take twenty or thirty pages to write what belongs on a single page. But he is guarabteed to be profitable no matter what he submits, so publisherr let him get away with damned near everything.
     
  12. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    While I agree with your King bashing, I think the point was that he's published short stories and novels effectively using the same characters, plot, world, etc (someone suggest, I'm not positive). I don't think his quality was even part of the discussion.

    I'm not sure, as I've never read his short stories, but from what I've heard since he's more limited in word count they're actually pretty good, which is probably why he wins awards with short stories, yet his novels are often panned by critics (art/quality critics, not just marketing shills). I suppose if you're forced to write a short story, you kind of have to write in a more concise manner, or it wouldn't be a short story. Which is why I can't stand novels that are written more lazily than a short story, as imo all fiction should be equally compact, and the length of the story arc what dictates word count, not simply because the writer is taking it easy and rambling since it's a novel and there's more space to fill.

    Though, yeah, all beside the point. Anyone know for certain if King has done this? Curious, mostly.
     
  13. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Thanks for the help, guys! I'll try things out with the short stories :)
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... while i agree about the abysmal quality of his work, i wasn't recommending king as a model to emulate, just noting that he'd probably turned some short stories into novels...
     

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