Hi everyone, My name's Ben (yep, my user name isn't my real name, unfortunately,) and I've been interested in writing stories since I was 9. I'm now 29, so I'd like to think my style has progressed and improved quite a lot in that time. I've worked on a few tales in my time, but have only started to take things really seriously for the past couple of years, and am really hoping to get something published in the future - it's the pipe dream, I know. I've been looking in to these things, and I know that the best way to get started is to write a couple of short stories: herein lies my problem, as I can't write a short story (which I'll get in to in a second). The first thing I wrote (and completed) was a rewrite of war of the worlds - I was 9, this was written in pencil and had quite a few full-page sketches. I really wish I could go back and read this, it would make me cringe, I'm sure, but I like a good laugh every now and then. I've worked on a few other things following this, normally short pieces based on films I'd seen that had a big impact on my frail little mind. It wasn't until I was in high school I started to branch out into working on original material, and did a number of short tales staring the kids I went to school with. One of these tales soon changed into what I worked on for a number of years, going through constant rewrites and changes in the story or characters. I completed this in college, and came up with a novel which was 101,797 words. I was pretty pleased with this story and its evolution and wanted to see what I could do to get it published: but I knew I'd need to start doing short stories to submit to magazines before I broke out the literal "big guns". The short story was to be a prequel to this novel I was so pleased with. I finished the short story last year, which had turned into a total rewrite of the original novel, and had increased to over 430,000 words. This story has been my life for the past 5 years, it's been read by a few people to get feedback, and what I've had so far has been very helpful. I need to work on short stories, and I'm hoping that I can get plenty of feedback from here to aid my development and progress: I'm under no delusions that I could leave work and become a full-time writer (though it would be cool if I could) - but just having the ability to say to my little girl "I wrote this book... but you can't read it until you're older" would be great enough. In case you couldn't tell by my introduction - I do tend to go on sometimes.