When I was eight years old, I would spend hours writing short stories. There was no real plot to speak of, and the characters were a re-hash of my friends, family, and teachers, but I loved writing above all the other games that an eight-year-old would play, ever hopeful that I would be an author one day.
Fast forward thirty-five years and I’ve now published five books with my sixth (Guardians of the Lost Lands) due out in December. I was also highly commended in the Self-Published Book Awards 2014 for my non-fiction title, How I Changed My Life in a Year. Writing is my life, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
When I was younger, writing short stories was my happy place. I get bored very quickly, and so writing fast-paced tales that were under 2,000 words was perfect for my Gemini nature. When I started to take my writing seriously and began publishing my work, the short stories became a distant memory. The plots and characters I created needed time and space to get into trouble and dig themselves back out again. I also began writing non-fiction for the personal development/self-help genre which needed a higher word count.
It was when I joined my creative writing group that I began to write short stories and flash fiction again. One of my favourite writing tasks was to develop a flash fiction piece from a photograph/image (my YA trilogy was conceived in the same way). Even though I was scribbling shorts again, I still favoured a longer story.
When I was approached to submit a short story for the anthology, Creeps in the Night, I was nervous and unsure if my story would be up to the task. It surprised me how fast I had fallen into the full-length novel writing zone. Fortunately, the theme was creepy tales, which hooked me in straight away.
I re-wrote one of the flash pieces I’d written for my creative writing group, edited it and submitted. I was elated to have it accepted.
The House on the Hill, appears in the anthology, Creeps in the Night, which is available as eBook and paperback, alongside a host of incredible authors.
It was fun to step out of my comfort zone and write a short story; it’s also an honour to add this anthology to my catalogue of published works. Author, Rayne Hall, promotes the use of writing short stories to help sell your full-length novels in her appropriately titled, Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novels.
Whether you write 120,000-word epic romances, 30,000-word novellas, or blog posts and articles, writing is still writing. This is something to be celebrated, shared and enjoyed. So, if I ever get asked to write another short story, I’m going to jump at the chance.
Do you write short stories or full-length novels? Maybe you prefer to read a full-length novel over anthologies? I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave me a comment below.