Author Topic: Do You Write Short?  (Read 4855 times)

Offline JeffCrook

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Do You Write Short?
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:50:06 AM »
There's lots of talk about novels, but I'm wondering, does anyone else write short fiction?

Publishing short fiction is one path to getting an agent for your novel. It goes without saying that if other people have thought well enough of your work to publish it, your query letter will get a little more consideration. And publication in a major magazine specific to your novel's genre (very important) helps even more. I've heard that if your novel is literary, getting a short story published in One Story or winning a Glimmer Train contest is almost a guarantee that agents will start calling you, instead of the other way around.

That would be a nice change, wouldn't it?

This is the path I'm following, anyway. I've got quite a few stories out right now, and I was up until 1 AM last night finishing a new one - my darkest and most disturbing story to date.

Also, when I finished my novel a few weeks ago, I realized that there were three parts that could stand alone as short stories, so I copied these sections into new files, edited them into short stories and sent them off to various magazines.

Is anyone else trying this path?

Offline Patrick

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 10:03:40 AM »
Not myself, but Lotheus is planning on pursuing that path.  It certainly helps to say in a query that you've had shorts published (if the magazine is at least half-way reputable)

Turning your novel into a series of shorts isn't a bad idea either.  Orson Scott Card originally wrote "Ender's Game" as a short.  It was so popular that the magazine editor asked him to write more on it.  He eventually tuned them up and turned it into a novel (which has since grown into, I don't know, 8 or 9 best-sellers.) 

The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov also started as a series of shorts.  In fact, a lot of early sci-fi started as shorts.

Offline justwrite

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 11:11:15 AM »
I guess it helps. I'm not really versed in the genre myself. I know that it's helping a critiquemate of mine. She hasn't got anything published but she's won two major national writing contests which is opening doors for her. It's another thing to consider. Not that I've done it myself either.

Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 11:41:09 AM »
I have a terrible time trying to write short. It seems that I only have long stories in me.  ;D
But I do understand how important it is to have your name out there and at least a couple publishing credits on your resume, so I did submit a short story to ARCHON/TUCKERCON. The winner is going to be announced Thursday, Aug 2nd and they will get to read their story at the convention where there will be publishers and agents.
So I agree, there are a lot of benefits down the short story road.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may no spiders fall on your head.

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Offline Patrick

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 11:42:41 AM »
Good luck, Senshi.

Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 12:55:44 PM »
Thanks, I'll keep everyone posted how it goes. I really want to win specifically because the agents from the jaberwoky agency are going to be there and they rejected me. It would be fun to do this  :wag:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may no spiders fall on your head.

website: www.colegibsen.com
blog: www.colegibsen.blogspot.com

Offline Diowe

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2007, 09:57:44 PM »
I've dabbled in short, Jeff, when I first got serious about trying to get published. I've had a couple short stories in a MG girls' mag and was accepted/paid by Highlights but so far that article hasn't seen the light of day (I still list it as a credit though). I've also contributed to a "how-to" mag for children's authors. Can't tell if it's helping or not but it rounds out that bio paragraph in the query. I should probably pursue these markets more strongly but there's only so much time available and I'm concentrating on the book market. For now, anyway.

Diowe

Lotheus

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 05:29:21 PM »
Short stories are essential for learning tight, effective prose.  It is a really good tool to improve your writing, and if you don't know how to do it, you really should learn.  I highly recommend it.  Flash fiction I'm not terribly fond of, but give yourself a limit sometime, say 2000 words, to tell a really good story with a beginning, a middle and a satisfying conclusion, and you will see how much you have to conserve to really convey that story in such a compact form.  Oh, and then share!  Maybe we'll do a short story category in the community fiction!

Offline teen-writer

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Re: Do You Write Short?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 03:26:57 PM »
Oddly, I like my short stories extra short. I've submitted one to Teen Ink, a magazine for teens, written by teens. I'm still waiting for a response. But, I don't like short stories nearly as much as books. So, I'm not taking that path. I think that if I do, the short stories will be mediocre, because I would be writing them just for the sake of writing them.