Writing Tips for Short Fiction Writers

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Why Should You Write Short Stories?
by Lee Masterson

Many novel writers avoid writing shorter fiction. Some believe it might distract them from focusing on longer works, while others find that the more concise style needed for short fiction doesn’t allow them the freedom to explore the characterizations deeply enough.

There are also plenty of writers who mistakenly believe that the short story markets are dwindling so they simply don’t bother.

The truth is, there are always markets for short fiction. Even if you choose never to sell your flash fiction there are plenty of great reasons to try your hand at this form of writing.

There are so many advantages for novel writers in the short fiction markets that can actually help your writing career.

Short stories can be an excellent way to build a published portfolio for any writer. Not only can they give future editors an idea of your writing style, but short stories can help to introduce new readers to your fiction.

While the pay for short stories isn’t high, there are other benefits to attempting shorter-length fiction work. Having your short story included into an anthology or collection of short stories can be exciting. You could choose to enter your short fiction into any number of writing contests. You’re also able to re-sell a short story as a reprint to a different publication at a later date.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to writing short fiction is using a character you created for a novel-length piece to give you a clearer insight into a part of the character's past. You could choose to give a character from your novel a specific task to complete outside of your main story and turn this task into a new short story on its own. You might even decide to write a short story to introduce your fictional world to potential new readers or editors.

Having a short story accepted for publication into a magazine, periodical or ezine can be a huge boost in confidence for any writer. Spending so much time and effort writing a novel can often reduce confidence levels in your own talents and abilities. This is where writing short fiction can help to keep your moral levels high.

Editing short stories can be particularly challenging. Word limits can be restrictive when you want to tell your story as clearly as possible while still keeping the conflict levels high. This can mean that by cutting your words too far you risk losing the depth in your tale, but not cutting enough can mean losing the crispness you were striving for.

No matter what reason suits you best, learning to write short fiction can be a great way to hone your writing skills. With shorter forms of fiction you’re restricted by your word counts. This means learning to tell your tale using a minimum amount of words can test your ability to tell a story concisely.

While there are plenty of good reasons to write short stories, the biggest reason of all is that it should be fun!

If you're ever lost for place to sell your short fiction, try browsing through our
Market Listings. You're sure to find something to suit your short story!


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