Why Should You Write Short Stories?

Short Stories are usually not the first things that writers set out to write because they most often dream of writing novels.

Authors always want to write that next great novel that sells millions of copies around the world.

They dream of being celebrated wherever they go because their novel is on all of the bestseller lists.

They dream of sitting on some tropical beach with their laptop typing away novel after best-selling novel with millions of adoring fans.

It’s a nice dream.

But rarely do new authors make that particular dream a reality.

So why should a new writer consider writing short stories?

Here are a few reasons:

Writing Practice

Before you find your voice, there are a lot of hurdles to get over as you hammer out your words on the keyboard.

There is a learning curve that needs to be dealt with so that your writing can improve to make writing novels your main income source.

At first, writing does not come easily for some because they haven’t developed a workflow that suits their writing style.

It is more than just putting words on paper.

An accomplished writer has their own distinctive voice that comes across in everything they write because no two writers have the same world views.

This fact is why well-known novelists often have difficulty keeping their pseudonym secret, especially with their true fans.

Writing short stories allows you to find your voice.

It is great practice working in short bursts as a learning experience before you jump into a lengthy writing exercise like a novel.

You can learn how to research, write, outline, and publish on a smaller scale to make it less painful when you do write your great novel.

Learn To Proofread And Edit Effectively

Proofreading and editing your short stories is a useful way to learn to do it efficiently.

With a smaller work, it is a simpler process than in a full novel.

Some writers are overly critical of their own works, while other writers have difficulty seeing where they lost control of their writing.

With a short story, you have less work to correct.

And just as you learn to practice the writing, you also practice how to look at your work with a critical eye that allows you to correct your mistakes.

Try New Writing Styles

Writing a novel is hard and it takes a lot of time before it becomes a completed work.

If you decide halfway through your novel that you don’t like the way it resonates with you, you have invested too much to stop and start over.

With short stories, you can complete a storyline, decide you want to try a different approach, and in short order change the entire feel of the writing.

There is not the long investment time so you will feel freer to change things on the fly.

This can feel very liberating to a new writer.

Expand Your Fictional World

Have you ever read a book and fallen in love with one of the secondary characters?

Don’t you wish you had more information about that character?

You can expand your fictional world by writing short stories to fill in the background of those characters and events that only get slightly mentioned in your novel so that you can flesh out your world.

J.K. Rowling did a wonderful job of this with her Pottermore website.

In it, she expands the wizarding world to great effect while allowing you to see into the secondary characters and places.

Cultivate Fans

As you write and sell your short stories, you will then begin to cultivate a fan base.

This visibility will allow others to see your work and then decide that they want to follow your writing.

These fans will also teach you more about your writing as they comment on your works which in turn will allow you to write better. 

You will begin to understand the genre you write for while finding fans who love that genre.

The visibility of writing short stories is invaluable when you do get ready to publish that novel you have in you.

Build A Portfolio

Agents and Publishers want to see that you are serious about your craft before they sign you on the dotted line.

Short Stories that you have written and published go a long way to show that you are a useful commodity and that you have enough attention from fans to make it worthwhile to sign you on as an author for their brand.

Every published work gives you more credibility in their eyes because they are able to see your work and how readers react to it

A relatively unknown writer will have a much harder time convincing an agent to sign them.

You can publish in literary magazines or even publish on Amazon for extra exposure.

Writing short stories can make you more marketable for agents and publishers.

Earn Extra Income

Writing a novel is a time-consuming undertaking and if you are like most new authors, the bills still need to be paid.

You can sell your short stories on Amazon or another similar avenue, in order to make some cash to help you stay afloat while you work on your novel.

Readers are far more likely to buy a low priced short story from an unknown writer, than they are to buy a full priced novel from that same person.

Selling short stories is a great entry point to writing as a career.

Use Short Stories As Giveaways

You don’t have to sell all of your work even if it is tempting.

Short Stories make a great giveaway to help you get exposure as an author.

You can publish them on your website for extra exposure, and you can also use them as an opt-in for your newsletter to increase your mailing list.

People love free.

Learn Publishing And Marketing Strategies

A new writer will often find publishing and marketing their works difficult until they have learned to master it.

After you write a novel, you will find that you have invested a lot of time. 

You then want to make sure you know where to market your new novel to get the best deal that you can.

By first writing and publishing short stories, you can then learn how to market your novel in the best and fastest way.

You will learn at a more rapid pace because you can churn out short stories in far less time than a full novel will take you to write.

As you can see, there are many reasons you should write short stories while there are no real reasons that you shouldn’t.  So, get writing.

Writing short stories is a great way for a new author to get noticed.