If You're Writing a Novel, Try This!

If you're working on a novel, here's something to try along the way.

When you get midway through the story—or any point where it gets a bit difficult to keep writing—move away from the novel and create a short story about the main character.

Your short story can take place before the action in the novel or it can cover some period of time that you skip over or don't go into detail about in the novel.

Remember, your short story still needs to have a problem for the character to solve and a good beginning, middle, and end.

But writing something short like this will give you a sense of accomplishment even before you finish the novel.

Chances are, you'll also get to know your main character a bit better by writing the short story.

And anything that helps you get to know your main character better will make it easier to finish writing your novel.

But even if you've finished writing your novel (but haven't found a publisher for it yet) go back and try to create a short story from small incident in the novel.

Then you can post this short story on your blog or website, as a way to test the waters to see if readers (which might include agents or editors) like your main character and want to read more about this person.

If the novels you write are mostly in the same genre, you could publish these short stories as Kindle Singles and start making some income (and building your list of readers) this way, too.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance has written over two dozen published books and hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications. She lives and writes by the sea in Jensen Beach, Florida.

Visit her blog at www.writebythesea.com and sign up for her emails with writing tips and resources for writers at www.morningnudge.com.


Melinda Brasher said...

Great idea. You can also sell these short stories to literary magazines (but remember that if you've posted them on your blog or anywhere else, it's a lot harder, since few paying magazines want reprints). I think I might go do this. :)

Karen Cioffi said...

This is a great idea, Suzanne. And, thanks for the tip, Melinda. What a purposeful use of morphing a novel into one or more short stories and submitting to magazines or posting to your website to test it or even as a teaser for the novel.

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