Have you written short stories before your first novel?

Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Senko, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Complete opposite for me. Three novels before I even attempted a short story. Not sure what that says about my journey. Having been in an inescapable rut for the past few years, I'd say not much.
     
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  2. CrimsonAngel

    CrimsonAngel Banned

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    How old are you now? And I'd like to see those cringey stories.
     
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  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Be 34 on Thursday. IDK, where those stories are at the present,
    and gonna take a petition or something to release that festivus
    cringicus. :)
     
  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Well I’ve attempted novels, but I started my hobby writing many a short story. It felt like the natural thing to do as the short format is so much easier than novels.
     
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  5. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    My short stories were a way to finish something. I could start writing a story, but once I figured out the ending, I couldn't force myself to finish.
    Also, I am/was dealing with attention deficit disorder and several other maladies, so writing short stories helped me push that envelope until I had written a few unpublished novellas around 40,000 words. From that, I went through my work and found one that would be my first novel, and three years later I finished it.
     
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  6. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I recommend starting with shorts. You can move through the process quickest that way. Then you can look at the final product dispassionately, see what works and make adjustments.

    Most of the unpublishable stuff I see fails at the paragraph level. I think that's why when you pick up a new book and you ask yourself if it's worth reading, just one paragraph is all that's needed for an answer. One full paragraph shows you who you're dealing with. The voice, impact, presence on the page. Now that's not to say that a book can't fail at the level of story. Short stories will teach you that too, in miniature.

    (Caveat! Plenty of terrible writing gets onto the printed page. It even wins Goodreads Book Awards. This year was an atrocity.)
     
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  7. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    I'm not very good at short stories and tend not to write them, even way back early on when I first started. I find shorts don't suit me as I naturally start adding more when it comes to mind, more story, more stuff, more detail until the core original concept becomes far larger as the plot rapidly expands. You need a sharp, focused idea and stick to it.

    Most of the short ideas I felt good enough to write ended up as novels. Even the most recent one I just finished has quickly begun expanding and looks to become a novella at least.

    But this year I'm going to attack more shorts and see if I can maintain enough discipline to keep them focused.
     

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