1. WingedClover

    WingedClover Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2018
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Orangetown

    Is it okay to write a collection of short stories?

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by WingedClover, Sep 29, 2021.

    I have two ideas for two collections of short stories. One has a set of stories that are directly connected and the other is loosely connected. I was inspired by readings of myths and collections of pulps like Solomon Kane, Conan, the Lovecraft mythos and the Holmes collections.

    I don't think I've ever read anything like that or seen anyone present a collection of short stories before tackling a novella or novel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
  2. Cave Troll

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

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,951
    Likes Received:
    27,100
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    A collection of shorts that are connected is an Anthology.
    So sure you can write them. :)

    I wrote a novel, and most of a sequel. Now I write shorts,
    but they are not connected.
     
    CatsEyeDjinn and WingedClover like this.
  3. montecarlo

    montecarlo Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2020
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    America's Heartland
    I could be wrong, but I thought an anthology had different authors for the short stories.

    @WingedClover nothing at all wrong with writing a short story collection!
     
  4. AntPoems

    AntPoems Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2021
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yeah, my understanding is that an anthology collects stories from multiple authors. What @WingedClover is talking about would be a specific type of collection, sometimes referred to as a short story cycle or a composite novel.

    Can it be done? Sure! Since you’re inspired by the classics, you may know that some of the best-known classic “novels” in sf/fantasy are actually collections like you described—both Asimov’s Foundation and Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles actually collected previously published short stories and novellas. They’re sometimes called “fix-up” novels as the original stories were edited to fit together better and tell a more sequential story. Asimov’s I, Robot was more loosely connected, but still very much based around a theme. So not only can it be done, it has been done.

    However, those books came out a long time ago in a publishing market far away, and I don’t know that there’s much opportunity for something like that these days. The only more recent example I know is George R.R. Martin’s 1986 collection Tuf Voyaging, but even that’s nearly 40 years old. (I admit, though, I’m not really up on current market trends. I read more old stuff than new.) Anyway, If you do decide to pursue this project, especially as a not-yet-known author, you’ll probably struggle to find a traditional publisher. I wouldn’t call it impossible (especially if you can sell some of the stories individually beforehand), but you might have to go the self-publishing route, whether you want to or not. Regardless, good luck with your writing!
     
    AbyssalJoey likes this.
  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,581
    Likes Received:
    22,599
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    We have a mod smiley for all these "is it okay" questions

    :justdoit:

    Everything legal is okay... if you want to write it, write it
     
  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    I'm seeing a broken link image and the phrase justdoit. Is everybody else getting the same?
     
    AntPoems likes this.
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    19,581
    Likes Received:
    22,599
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    weird its displaying for me, it should look like this
    Screenshot_2021-02-21 Daily Notes.png
     
    AntPoems likes this.
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    7,422
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    There it is!!
     
  9. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    México
    You absolutely can, as @AntPoems pointed out it has been done before, another author that has done this is Andrzej Sapkowski, mostly (if not exclusively) known for "The Witcher" series, in this case, we would be talking about "The Last Wish", "Sword of Destiny" and I think "Blood of Elves" is also a short story collection, don't quote me on that tho.
     
    X Equestris likes this.
  10. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2020
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    219
    From a conventional publishing/ monetary angle, it's very rare for authors nowadays to get a collection of short stories published unless they've had novels published first, that sold reasonably well OR their short stories have been published individually in magazines.

    Of course, as you note, many great authors got started with short stories or wrote short stories almost exclusively. And in the field of horror/ fantasy pulp, there are specialty presses like Hippocampus Press that might consider publishing collections of short stories from obscure authors.

    Now if the conventional publishing/ monetary angle is not your concern, then just do whatever you want. Actually just do that anyway.
     
    X Equestris likes this.
  11. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    2,568
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Yeah, The Witcher is exactly what I thought of when I first read the OP.

    The Last Wish is a bunch of thematically related shorts tied together by a framing story, Sword of Destiny is looser and lacks a framing story, and they both work pretty well. I'd agree with Le Panda Du Mai that the main issue would be hesitancy from publishers; they don't like touching collections by unknown because they don't sell very well compared to novels (or even novellas). You could avoid some of that stigma by presenting it as a "novel in story", with the shorts connected by a framing story.

    If you go that route, I'd definitely recommend picking up The Last Wish as an example of what that looks like in practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  12. virgil_is_king

    virgil_is_king New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    For me short stories are a great way to get the feel of writing something from beginning to end so Id agree with everyone else here and say do it
     
    B.E. Nugent likes this.
  13. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    58
    Books of short stories can be great. I remember as a kid reading the "Adventure book for boys" which were full of great stories, often real life stories as well. Two that stand out are Sterling Moss's account of his Mile Miglia race win in 1955 and of a snake collector who who had asked some locals to keep an eye out for snakes and was led to an extremely dangerous pit of snakes that he should never have gone in, (was at night and he had no gear with him) but felt pressured in to doing so because the whole village had turned out to watch.

    Was the Magic Faraway Tree an anthology? I seem to recall it was, and its one of the best kids book of all time. (not forgetting of course the enchanted wood)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice