by Benjamin Wallace Professional Author
The Most Dangerous Game, Lenigan vs. the Ants, The Monkey’s Paw, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, nearly everything in the Illustrated Man; these were some of my first favorite stories. They didn’t have to be long to make their impact felt.
May is Short Story Month so it’s a good time to talk about why the short story is more relevant than it has been in years, and why you should consider writing one.
Sometimes you have an idea that makes your brain itch that you just have to tell. You try and try to turn it into a book but when you’re honest with yourself there is just not enough there. The Short Story is a great way to get that idea out of your head so it will leave you alone. It can be any length and it can still be a great story.
If you’re looking to get a deeper backlist the Short Story can certainly help. As part of a dare from another author I wrote and published a story to Amazon in under six hours. And you know what? I really liked it. And so did others. Some readers have asked me to turn the concept of home buying in alternate dimensions into a novel. And it just might happen.
It’s Not Asking a Lot
Getting a stranger to read your book is asking them to commit several hours to an unknown product. Ask them to read a short story over their lunch break and you’re not asking quite as much.
They’re Great Promo Tools
This also makes short stories the ideal promotional tool. They make for a great giveaway or freebie. And if you write the story as a prelude to a longer work, it’s a nice invitation for them to continue with the story.
Trying to reach more readers? You can tailor the Short Story to a different demo entirely to gain the “introduction.” I wanted to reach more women readers so I wrote a series of short stories called Dumb White Husband. Scoff all you want, it worked. It also helped spread my books out into more genres.
They’re Just Fun
In my mind the Short Story works like a sketch on Saturday Night Live. It’s there for a few big laughs and then it’s over and done. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. With a Short Story, the stakes aren’t as high as a sequel or another book in a series. So play around, experiment and have fun with it.
Benjamin Wallace is the professional author of several best-selling titles including Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors, The Bulletproof Adventures of Damian Stockwell and the Dumb White Husband. If you sign up for his Readers’ Group now you’ll get three free books. Visit his website, follow @BenMWallace on Twitter, and pester him on Facebook.
Readers, have you written a short? What was your experience? Leave a comment and share!
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