As I’ve been working on my full length novel and frankly feeling quite defeated, I’ve also written a short story that I entered into a contest. Once I finished that short story I began thinking of writing two more and put out a series based on my first one. I outlined each one in detail and was surprised at how easily it flowed for me vs. the full length novel and came to realize there are some very good reasons for that.
First is that a short story is just that, it’s short. That doesn’t mean it’s any easier to write and have it make sense but for me it’s a challenge to consolidate all my thoughts into a few sentences that actually flow and get right to the point. It forces me to be practical when I have a word count limit looming before me and more importantly it doesn’t bore the readers with unnecessary details that detract from the story.
Second is that its great practice to build my writing skills. A first draft may show I’ve gone over the word count limit by 90 words which means I have to review each paragraph and really read it. I’ll start asking myself questions like Do I really need that description? How can I convey this point with fewer words? etc. and it also forces me to show action instead of telling about it making the story itself much smoother.
Lastly is I found the story I was writing was exciting to me and I really liked my characters. I liked the plot, the way the scenes played out and loved the ending. If you like your characters, your readers will too even the villains. At least that’s what I’ve read from people who’ve given their advice with writing stories.
How do you feel about short stories vs. full length novels?