Ways Short Fiction Will Make You a Better Writer
It seems like some writers balk at
the thought of writing short fiction. They insist they write novels and can’t
write a short story because it always ends up into a novel. I say anyone can
learn to write short fiction and can learn from writing short fiction.
Although novel-length works and
short stories seem quite different and are in several ways, they also display
similarities. They usually have characters, theme, and plot, but a novel is
spread throughout time, a short story is a mere moment. With a novel, you can
explore the characters in a greater depth through subplots. A short story is
more focused with usually one plot and limited characters.
When I started writing novels, I heard
it was good to bulk up your writing résumé by writing short stories. As I was
writing and submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies, I ventured
into flash fiction. I noticed when I went back to writing novels that my
writing was more concise and leaner. I was learning what was important and what
So how can writing short fiction
help you? Let me list some ways it’s helped me.
1. Be concise. With a limited number of words, you learn what is
2. Practice makes perfect or, at least, better. Have trouble with
dialogue? Focus on a dialogue-heavy story. My weakness was descriptions, so I
worked on writing description-heavy flash fiction that focused on a setting.
3. Think small. By focusing on one plot or a character’s growth
through a scene, I was able to figure out how to move the story in a shorter
time period, which helped transition to writing scenes in a novel.
4. Experiment. Short fiction allows you to try different genres or
ways to write without fear. It’s much easier to throw away a thousand words of
something that’s not working than eighty thousand.
you written a short story?
Check out Cherie's Collection of Fantastic Short Stories!!!
kingdom hangs in the balance.
War threatens Foxwick on all sides.
The dreaded Shadowlands gains more
souls. From the shrouded trees in Greymist Forest to the arid Blackden Barrens,
monsters roam in search of their next victim. Sirens lure ships beneath
Merrilea Sea. In cold and snowy Wintermill, royals plot to claim Foxwick as
their own, even if they must use dragons and sorcery. Marriage between
Foxwick’s king and Lochhollow’s princess creates a perilous alliance. Although
brave Valdale will come to Foxwick’s aid, the cost may be more than a true
friend can stomach.
Set over a hundred years, these
seventeen fantasy short stories explore the people, creatures, and lands in and
around the Kingdom of Foxwick.
Available in print and e-formats!
is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in
Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her
books include the horror collection Once
Upon a Nightmare
, a science fantasy collection titled Fall of Gravity
, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles
debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the
Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit