Why you should read (and write) short stories
Writers are using self-publishing options more resulting in an increase short stories published as eBooks. This is said to be on the increase as a preference for both readers and writers. So why should you consider reading and writing short stories? Here are a few points to consider.
They are short. You can generally read them in less than three hours. A single chunk will be a substantial part of the entire story because when you read a short story for even five minutes, you see the progress. This encourages the reader to pick it up when they have just a few minutes to spare.
When you’re between books, or don’t have the time to immerse yourself in a full novel, it’s very satisfying to read a thoughtful, well-written story.
Many people find committing to a novel daunting especially if they have experience the discouragement on giving up reading before the end. This in turn discourages them from reading more.
Only after you finish a book are you able to fully evaluate the story. If you have enjoyed it you are ready to select something from the same author, genre, or topic.
On the other hand, if the story hasn’t met your expectations, you will be more open to trying something completely different.
New and varied genres
It is a great way to try new genres and different authors. It is less time consuming than committing to a full novel and cheaper.
If you are a reader of heavier stories there are times, such as ill health, when you want something to read but want to keep it light. I found reading short light romance perfect when I was in hospital or confined to bed. It is the only time I have that genre
They are usually written concisely. The get straight into the story and the plot.
Download a short story collection or selection to your book reading app. Reading one story might take less time than your trip to work or waiting to see the doctor but got others downloaded if you want to read more.
eBook short stories are often very cheap or free.
Great alternative to novels or in between
A great read between the novels. Sometimes, after finishing a long, fascinating, and deeply involving novel it is difficult to get ‘into’ another story and it feels good to take a break.
Having a break from a novel doesn’t mean you have to make a break from reading. You can reach for an easier and less challenging read – a short story.
So, why should you WRITE short stories - All the above
Free samples as a marketing tool
When books were only published in the traditional way – by a publisher and in print format – short stories were a rarity unless it was an anthology by a well-known writer. Today, with self-publishing, print on demand, and especially digital format that is changing. Authors can now publish any piece of writing in a digital form, no matter how long – or short – it is.
Digital books mean authors can free samples of their books, but they don’t always give you a clear idea if you will enjoy the whole book. One way authors are overcoming this is to offer short stories for free that supplement a series of novels e.g. a short story about a main character’s background.
Well written – enhance your skills
They’re usually very well-written. Writers who can publish collections of short stories are generally well-established literary writers.
Short stories bring more pressure, because like poets, each paragraph, sentence, and word is more important than they would be inside a large novel. Short stories are precise with their delivery, they must capture the attention of the reader extraordinarily quickly and tell a full tale from beginning to end in roughly a half hour of reading.
Therefore, it takes a tremendous amount of skill to write a good short story, so it is a good way of honing your writing skills without committing to a full-length novel.
They’re perfect for book clubs. No one can show up to a book club without having read the selection — anyone can find the time to read a short story or two. It could be your story they choose.
They lend themselves to rereading. As much as I have enjoyed many books, my reading list is far too long to take the time rereading novels. A good short story, particularly a series, doesn’t cut into my new books waiting as much.