5 Benefits of Writing Short Stories

Photo by ASTERISK KWON on Unsplash

For those that write novels and those that haven’t done it already, you should try writing short stories.

Working on an epic novella can be great and rewarding in the end. But taking a break to write a short story won’t hurt you.

For those that are in the planning phase of a book, you can benefit from writing a short story too.

Here are 5 benefits from the top of my head that you should keep in mind when you make the decision.

Testing Ideas/Characters

Unless you’re planning to write an episodic novel, your ideas will be tested when everything is already done.

Once the book is out, that’s it. There is no day 1 patch for books.

So instead, test those out-there ideas that exist in the book. They don’t have to be the exact same concepts or characters, something similar is good enough.

The short stories can even be a side story of the main novel. It helps with world building and acts as an easter egg for those that spot the connection.

If the short story gets good feedback then that’s a very good sign for the main story.

Otherwise, maybe edit those ideas out or change them. Speaking of editing.

Easier Editing Practice

I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t like editing long stories. But I know that editing is an important skill, so practicing with short stories will save time and headaches.

If you can edit a 1k story fast, that 1/12 steps to editing a 12k story fast. Through it all, you get better at editing and grammar corrections.

If you take this far enough, you can add this skill to your portfolio or sell the skill as a service.

Either way, if you get good enough it can cut down on future editing times. Even a few seconds taken off for you or your editor, is a good thing.

A Portfolio Builder

If you want to prove yourself as a writer or just increase your experience, novels might be too long for that.

Depending on how fast you write and the feedback, you can have dozens of stories self-published. They all can show how you’ve grown from story 1 to 12.

If you have enough, you can even sell a short story collection book but with edits to the worse ones. That way you can say there’s new content.

A confidence and writing craft boost all in one. Making money is just the optional cherry on top.

Increases Creativity

Since short stories can be under 1k words, the ideas that make them up will come and go faster than novels.

Novel ideas can last you years. No need to get creative outside the box of the current story.

Short stories are different, each one is usually very different. The mental workout of creating good new ideas can increase your creativity.

After a few good ideas, you’ll eventually have a great idea that can become a full story.

Combine this with testing ideas and you’ll be able to learn the difference between a good and bad idea faster. Interesting story hooks could become more common and writer’s block less so.

The only thing that can stop you know is if the idea is massive. Don’t worry, short stories can help with that too.

Shifting Scope Practice

This might be just me but I have a problem with shrinking my stories down.

Some ideas just get away from you and get way bigger than you imagined.

Short stories help me to get used to shrinking my idea to a manageable size. So instead of a 100k story that will take months, I’ve mentally trimmed the fat so it’s 70k.

So for those suffering from story bloat, I hope short stories can help lessen the load.

You’ll get used to only including only the bare essentials. After all, that’s all the reader will care about.

Conclusion

Those are the 5 benefits of short stories I could think of.

  • Testing Idea/Characters
  • Easier Editing Practice
  • Portfolio Builder
  • Increase Creativity
  • Shifting Scope Practice

If any of this helped take that first step into short stories, comment below.

To help you further, here are a few places you can self-publish your short stories.

So take a break and write a nice short story. You deserve it.

With that, I’m done.

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Blankmarks

I’m Blankmarks and I love magic in fiction. I’ll write about the various magic types and concepts not only for fun but to help writers create new magical worlds