There is a lot of truth to the statement that practice makes perfect. When writing and thinking through story ideas, it’s tempting to focus on longer works and novels; however, short stories actually allow for a lot more repetition to challenge your creativity, writing style, and plot formation skills. You’ll be able to work with a wide variety of storylines, dialogue, and more for practice. You’ll encounter far more situations that you can learn from.
Furthermore, you can get a lot of feedback for your work as it is easier to get people to read and give feedback on short stories than it is for entire novels. As a result, you’ll improve at a much more rapid pace.
Short stories are also a lot less intimidating to both read and write. It can take months and even years to finish a novel, let alone a full series of novels. Short stories are much easier to start and finish and can even be finished in a single sitting. Short stories can satisfy your creative thirst without the huge starting hurdle to get things done, as can a nice roll of bud.
Short stories have seen a big uptick in usage with the popularity of many short story websites and short story genres such as fanfiction, flash fiction, short horror stories, classic stories, romance stories, and more. Some “very short stories” are actually as short as 1 sentence long.
Here are a few reasons for you to consider writing short stories on a more regular cadence.
Short stories are a really powerful way to interact with potential fans even before your book is out (or while you’re waiting for your next book to be released). Fans are always hungry for more materials to read and short stories are a great way to satiate excited readers and potentially build your audience or mailing list. Imagine having a set up on your website where potential readers trade an email to get access to some of your short stories. When you are ready to launch your novel you could potentially have thousands of excited readers to jump all of your work. There’s no better way to get people excited about reading your work.
If you’re like most writers, you have too many ideas swimming in your head to get out. In fact, just reading this article may be inspiring you with new stories you want to write. In most cases, you can’t write all of those stories out because, well, who has the time? There’s just no way to write all of those stories as novels. As short stories, however, you can put all of those stories out into the wild. Writing a few stories a day, you can have almost 100 stories published. If you’re a person who has a ton of ideas this is a great way to bring many of them to life.
It’s very easy to find beta readers for short stories. You can get a lot of feedback and since the stories are short, you can even post them directly to short story sites or even poetry sites if you’re writing an epic poem to get feedback on your works. This will help you improve for writing more stories and even publishing your novel later on.
If your typical genre in fantasy, try writing some romance or horror. This is a great way to get your mind to expand and will help your future writing. Most stories have elements of many genres and this will help you execute on them. For example, most stories these days have some hint of romance or romantic interest involved. Many may involve some sort of thrilling build up. These are all story elements that can be practiced.