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Showing posts from June, 2018

Are you a Short Story Writer or Novel Writer?

Most writers can contend with both short stories and novels. They’re able to switch between the two with relative ease, but for some writers, it’s not so straight forward. There are writers who struggle to write novels and instead prefer short stories. Conversely, there are those who find it hard to write a story confined to a short amount of words, so novels work better for them. That’s why many writers are drawn to either one or the other. Short Story Writers Short stories can be more complex in the way they are constructed – because a well told story with almost the same elements as a novel still needs to be crammed into 10,000 words or so – and some writers become very skilled at this. Are you a short story writer? Do you find plotting is too complicated, that you have to try to make the story make sense and avoid large plot holes and mistakes? Are things easier with one central story? Do you balk at the thought of creating loads of characters and creating in-depth characterisation?Wha…

Are Short Stories More Difficult to Write?

Some people are naturally good a short story telling. Others find novels much easier to write, because it’s not confined to a condensed amount of words. This is perhaps why people find short stories more difficult to get to grips with. But are they really difficult? Let’s consider the differences first. The short story and the novel may share some similarities – a main story, a main character and a theme or two – but their overall structure and length make them very different. The common mistake most beginners make is to write the short story as though it was a novel and the result is that the story doesn’t work, and often doesn’t feel like a complete story because they haven’t taken into account these differences. Length Short stories vary in length, from 1000 words to around 20,000 words. Average novels tend to range from 80,000 to 100,000 words. So with a short story, the plot needs to be told and wrapped up in a shorter length, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Number of Characters T…

Turning Short Stories into Novels

Some people are excellent short story writers.Others are novel writers, and write only novels. There are times, however, we look upon a short story and realise there’s more. There’s more to say, more to explore, more to write. In other words, the short story demands to be something else – it wants to be a novel. One thing to note is that not every short story can be a novel. Sometimes they just don’t work on a larger scale. And you don’t choose short stories to make them into novels – that’s like forcing an idea into being; it doesn’t work. Most short stories work as short stories and nothing more. If there is more beyond the ending of a short story, that story will tell you. You will instinctively know that the story could be extended because the characters and the plot almost strain to reveal more. Sometimes the subplots need further expansion, beyond the boundaries of 5000 or 10,000 words, sometimes the characters push for more attention, or the plot is so deep that you know that it…

Writing From Experience

‘Write what you know’ is an adage that most writers will have heard of, and while it’s certainly true that what a writers knows makes a solid foundation for their writing, it’s not an entirely accurate, because much of what is written is all about what we don’t actually know. That’s why it requires great creativity and imagination. Writing from experience isn’t about a writer being autobiographical – fiction isn’t about that and should never be about the writer, nor should it project the writer’s feelings or opinions. Instead it’s about the stuff the writer knows, which could be used in their work. That’s why writing from experience does have an advantage. A lot of our writing is generated from stuff we remember or things we’ve done. That means our writing is a balance between what we imagine and snippets of things we know or we have experienced. That could be anything from having knowledge of a certain skill, an expertise in a certain field, experience from a particular job, memories fr…