5 Good Reasons to Write Short Stories

If you’re a person who wants to write a novel, good for you.

But did you know that many famous authors got their start writing short stories?

Stephen King, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway started their writing careers with short stories.

You might want to try this route, too, because there are loads of reasons you should be writing short stories.

Here are just a few:

1. Writing short stories will help you discover and learn more about the kind of writing you really enjoy.

You can try different genres to see which ones you enjoy the most.

You can also find out if you prefer writing in 1st person or 3rd person.

2. Writing short stories will help you become a better writer.

Short stories require you to write “tight” since they have fewer words than novels.

And when you write short stories in specific genres you get better and better at writing within these genres.

You also gain more skill with each of the story elements.

3. Writing short stories requires less of a commitment in terms of time and energy than novels.

Maybe you don’t have long stretches of time to work on a novel, but you can write a little every day or a little a few days a week.

You can easily complete a short story every month without committing to months of work.

4. Writing short stories can help you earn income and also develop a readership.

When you learn to write “marketable” short stories, and you understand which markets are best for your stories, you can start selling your stories to these markets.

You might also decide to turn your stories into Kindle Singles and start your own little publishing empire!

Either way, you’ll gain visibility as a writer and start building your readership.

5. Writing short stories allows you to develop many ideas in a short amount of time.

Most writers have all sorts of ideas.

So many ideas, in fact, that they never develop them all.

If you write just one short story each month, by the end of a year, you’ll have developed 12 ideas into finished pieces.

And by the time you’ve written 12 marketable short stories, your writing skills will have improved a great deal, and you’ll probably be ready to start writing that novel you’ve been wanting to write.

If you need a little help starting a short story, accept our free Cooking Up a Short Story Challenge at writebythesea.com, and you’ll get four weeks worth of tips, lessons, and resources so you write a “marketable” short story in just one month.

Try it!

For more tips and resources to help you become a better writer, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a writing coach, and editor at writebythesea.com.

1 comment:

Terry Whalin said...


I love this article about writing short stories. I find many writers want to write books but they can reach many more people with a short story than the typical book sales from a novel. It is also easier to learn and practice the craft of writing on a shorter piece than working with a huge novel.

I've written and published short stories but it has been years since I've explored this market. Writing a solid short story is one key part of the process--but getting it to the right publication is another key element. Where do you suggest writers turn to submit their short stories for publication?

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