Monday, June 11, 2012

For the Love of Short Stories

This post comes to you through the fog of a head cold, so I’ll be briefer than normal. However, I want to bring up a topic that has been weighing on my mind lately: where short stories fit into an author’s career.

I’m curious about the readers’ perspective, too. Do you enjoy novellas or short stories that come out as part of a series of full-length novels? What about short stories that aren’t part of a series but are written by an author you’ve enjoyed?

The thing I’m most curious about is: what if you read a short story and you don’t enjoy it? Will that spoil an author for you?

So far, I have only the debut novel of my first series available on the market. However, several more books are contracted and written or being written, including a novella for my series. However, being the energizer battery-type author that I am, I often write short stories for the fun of it, and only think about possible publication value after the fact. Now, I’m wondering what, if anything, to do with some of them. They aren't even all romance O_O though they are all paranormal/fantasy. It seems like a shame to leave them forever in the darkness of my OTHER folder.

Personally, I love it when I go to a favorite author's website and find short stories to read. To be honest though, I don't take the time to read short stories of authors who are new to me--I'll read a novel from them first. I think that makes me weird! :) I'm on the fence as to whether or not they should be free, though. Yes, they're short, but they may still represent weeks of work.

Authors, how do you handle your short stories?

Have a great week, everyone!


Annie Nicholas said...

As a reader, I love buying anthologies to find new to me authors. It's like a testing ground. If I like the novella then I should love the books.

Doesn't always work that way. I've been led astray but most of the time it does.

As a writer, I think of it in the same way. A reader who doesn't know me will be more willing to plop done 1.99 on my novella to try me out then 5.99 on a novel.

Also there are days that I want a quick short story to satisfy my needs both as a reader and a writer.

Veronica Scott said...

I usually like short stories, especially if they fill in some action or questions about the character or the series. I'm with you, probably would be less likely to read one from an author I didn't know, but never say never!

Ella Drake said...

I like short stories, novellas, and novels, but I don't think all authors can write all those formats. So, if I read a short story from an author who usually writes novels, I might take that into account if I don't enjoy the short story. I think it takes a different skill set to write short versus long.

I love Asimov's short fiction. I think he wrote some amazing stories, but I don't prefer his novels (many, many, many people do, though).

Then there's Faulkner. I love both his short and long fiction.

Now I don't read as much from the literary side like Faulkner and stick to Romance almost exclusively. I find that many romance readers have a hard time believing in the romance arc and the happily ever after when the story is short. But for many of us, I like to read shorter fiction when I'm busy. I can read a novella when I don't have time for a novel & get great enjoyment out of it.

I wrote an essay here. Sorry. LOL.

But I think in the end, it depends on if you think you have the ability to write short and the understanding that not all romance readers are going to enjoy the short format.