1. Scott Sommers
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    Scott Sommers New Member

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    Short story or novel

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Scott Sommers, Aug 7, 2016.

    I'm working on my first novel and I'm having trouble completing it. I believe I have a hard time sticking to one long story. So, I decided to turn it into a 3 or 4 short stories, but I hear that readers don't like that and they believe authors are trying to scam them when authors separate a novel into short stories. Also, I personal love short stories compared to novels. But can an author make a living (between 30k and 70k) writing short stories?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most authors can't make a living from writing any form of fiction.

    Short stories are less likely to bring commercial success than novels (in my experience).

    So is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? Hell, no.
     
  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would think a person would have to crank out a hell of a lot of good short stories to make even a meager living. Unless you are on the level of King or someone of that nature that is. That being said I do not think it impossible either.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I read a statistic a number of years ago that claimed only about 950 writers in the US make enough money through writing alone to be considered above the poverty line. The poverty line in the US for a single-person household was about $10.5k to $11k back when I saw this statistic. The reality is that most writers have to supplement their writing income through other jobs. So as mentioned above, while it's not unheard of, it's very rare, especially for short stories.

    The only person I can think of right now who falls into this category is Alice Munro, and she has decades of experience writing good stories (and Nobel Prize to show for it). The other contemporary short story writers I can think of all have jobs as editors or professors.
     
  5. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I think that finishing a long story is just one of many skills an author has to develop. I used to start and not finish a lot of stories. Finally a very capable author told me that was just part of the learning curve, so finish it, already.

    Years ago I was at a friend's wedding, and happened to sit down with the professional photographers. One was in his eighties and close to retirement after being a 'wedding, baby and dog' photographer all his adult life. He had a lot of arthritis from packing equipment around himself, and it was very difficult for him to get around.

    I wanted to take a really difficult shot in the dark, of people dancing. I imagined how great it would be. He shuffled over and held up a spotlight so I could take the shot. I fussed and fiddled, trying to get it just right.

    He shuffled over to me with great difficulty, leaned over and in my ear said very loudly, over the loud music, "Take the *** ****** shot. Just take it".

    So yes. Just take the shot. Finish the long story. You DO have to go back and fix things to wrap the story up. That's a very important process to go through.

    Otherwise, people will know it was chopped up because you couldn't finish the longer story. They feel like you done 'em wrong.

    Just take the shot.
     
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  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Alternatively, if you really love short stories, write short stories - you're going to have a hell of a time making a living from fiction anyway, so you may as well write what you want!
     

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