Many in the writing and publishing industries don’t believe in the value of short fiction. These same individuals fail to realize that many of our most important and popular authors are (were) prolific short story writers. F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, John Steinback, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Stephen King are just a few to name as examples. One particular writer, J.D. Salinger, began his writing career as a short story writer before he wrote his first novel.
So, why should you write short fiction? There are several reasons:
1. It helps hone your overall storytelling ability.
2. It strengthens your use of active verbs over passive verbs.
3. It improves your character development skills.
4. It forces you to write tighter plots.
5. You can use short fiction to flesh out various story ideas, or get to know your secondary characters better.
6. You can use short stories to post as freebies on your blog or social media to give your readers a taste of your work.
7. You can write short stories to explore various themes (political, environmental, humorous, etc.), or passions (poetry, music, food, movies, etc.).
8. Writing and publishing quality short stories are also great ways to start building the foundation of a successful writing career.
The reasons are practically endless.
To those who still do not see how writing short fiction is worth the time and energy, ponder on this:
“Short fiction seems more targeted – hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it’s a lot smokier and less defined.” -Paolo Bacigalupi
What kind of stories do you want to produce? The ones that explode like a grenade, that would stick in people minds for days; or, the kinds that are forgettable after being read only once, like the gray smoke as it dissipates into the air?
Short fiction has the ability to be the grenade. So, what’s holding you back? Write that story!
Guest post written by Carrie Ann Golden.