Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Short Stories Anyone

What good is a short story? and why do you read or write them?

I have read my share of tomes, I have read my share of 600 paged books, I have even read my share of 800 paged textbooks per week for a class at uni not to talk of grading seniors at the same uni, but I guess you get the point I am a reader and a fast one at that.

I love short stories, the last book I read was  mistletoe and the lost stiletto by Liz Fielding around 50k words, I finished it in 2hrs (during nap time) and if you want to quiz me on it am sure I will ace it.

Me + Books of this length = Perfect Match

As a writer we are always told to know out target audience, I am my target audience, I love to read and will probably wither if i don't read but I have no time to read. Don't worry blogger friends I will read your 800 paged book when it comes out even if I have to hire a Nanny but unless you are a blogger friend or Tim Robbins (Nora, Steph, Dan or Steven) and the like I won't buy your humongous book at the store(no offense).

Writing short stories is also good practice for writers, have you ever started a WIP just to realize it has fizzled out at chapter 3 and nothing you do will resurrect it? is that story meant to be a short, is there a magazine or publisher out there wishing they had a manuscript like the one you have abandoned? lets talk about Ether books  for a second have you heard about them? you can read more here they publish short stories - 2k words on your IPhone.
In other news today I won $10 Breathless Press gift card from Jessica Lee and a $5 Wild Rose gift card from Sally Clements - I tweeted these competitions.
Finally I got an author/editor for the interrogation room, what questions would you like to ask the editor side of her? I need suggestions.
Have a beautiful day now.
Promenade des anglais - Nice


  1. Beautiful photo! It just brought my blood pressure down by about 10 points. The ocean does that to me. :-)

    Regarding short stories, I love reading them too. It's really the story that matters for me, not the word count. That said, I've read plenty of short stories that I had wished were longer simply because I loved them so much.

  2. I agree. I can't read books that are that long. Half the time they're not that long because they need to be. Except Harry Potter. Every word was necessary :)

  3. Gorgeous picture. I want to be there.

    I haven't wrote any short stories since I was in a MFA program -- but I do love to read them.

    I would love to ask your author/editor about what are some of the things she looks for in the opening pages to signal to her that she will continue to read.

  4. I love short stories. I used to only read longer books of no less then 300 pages but anymore I just don't have the time.

  5. I am a firm believer that every story has a perfect length. I recently started a story fully intending it to be novella length (20k-30k words) but half way through realized it was a short story and stretching it out would only dilute it.

    I would love you to ask, what one mistake is an automatic rejection for her, no matter how good the rest of the story is?

  6. I'm a bit opposite. I'm not a great short story writer, mainly because I see anything I write with a long and winding path. I find it funny that other writers/agents/editors think you have to be a great short story writer to even think of writing a novel. They are two completely different monsters. I don't mind reading short stories, but I really enjoy a great novel so much better. There is so much an author can do with plot and building up to a great KAPOW moment that can't be done in short stories. Or not as twisted as the author could otherwise make it. But hey, kudos to all those writers out there who love to do it!

    ♥ Mary Mary

    P.S. I love Nice!

  7. I love short stories! They just are more compact with less chance of flying off in other directions.

  8. I'm amazed at the speed at which you read - and envious!

    The short story as a form is all set for a rise in popularity, I heard on the radio a few days ago. I started out writing stories but I'm more interested in the novel form. The same goes for reading; I prefer novels. That said, I have read more stories since I started writing them.

    I think that Karen Strong has a good question there for the editor. I'd like to hear an answer to that.

    Love that photo of Nice. It brought back memories of a wonderful holiday.

  9. I love to bury myself in a good long book. DOn't get me wrong, I do like a 50k novel once in a while but I too, read it in like 2-3 hours. It almost feels like a waste. Like, I spent the same ten bucks on that as a 100k book that would have lasted longer?

  10. Here's a question for the editor...Paranormal is popular now. Any idea what's coming next?

  11. I haven't written a short story in forever! That's what I always used to write, back when I never had any time.

  12. I love short stories -- but not SUPER short ones. Somewhere around 75 - 100 pages is perfect.

    I love to write them, too, but they can be more challenging than a novel because you have fewer words to make something make sense.

    Even so, I'm a big fan.

    No questions for the editor right now -- brain is mush.

  13. There's a time for a long story and a time for a short story, for both writers and readers. Yes, sometimes when we run into a brick wall after 10,000 or so words, maybe it is just a short story, not that great novel you'd planned.

    Seriously, Joanna, you pack so much into one entry.

    Congrats on your prizes! Obviously you never sleep so you never miss anything! I'm with you on the fast reading. It takes 4 books at a time to entertanin me, depending on my mood.

    Had a look at Ether books. Some lofty writers there.

    Ask the editor, huh?

    Most of the submissions you read must fall short of the mark. Do you get a *bling blang* moment when you read a mss that has 'winner' written all over it? What would most likely rock your boat?

    Thanks Joanna..:)

  14. Editor questions:

    One thing I like to ask the editors I interview is: What would you be doing if you weren't editing for a living?

  15. I can read short stories and actually loved the brevity of category romances. However, I don't know how to do short stories, only tried my hand at less than five since I started writing.

    To the editor, what is her opinion on POV?

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  17. I don't even have the patience to read a 300 page book sometimes. It's amazing that you can read such a long book :) As for short stories, they seem really difficult to write, maybe because I haven't read many of just 2000 words.

  18. I used to be all about fat books, but I'm drawn towards skinny books more and more. A quick read can be so appealing. I love reading short stories, particularly flash fiction, which has to say a lot in very few words. Stories like that always leave me thinking.

  19. You are your own target audience. I like that.

  20. I think I could write 100 2000 word stories before ever managing 1 200k novel! I do enjoy short stories (and have a few started novels that fizzled out at chapter 3, thanks for the idea!). The novel I'm sending out is about 63,000 words and I think my WIP will end somewhere around 45,000 (then again, I write YA/MG).

    I would ask the editor how they feel about selling a "quiet" book with excellent writing or if everything these days needs to be HUGE HOOK/HIGH CONCEPT!!!

    Oh, sorry about the carpal - I had it with both pregnancies and it sucks. Wishing you the best.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, so go on & make my day