If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

-Why Short Stories- 13th Floor Book tour.

Guest post by Christine Rains


I get this question often. It seems many people think that writing stories equals publishing books. When I tell them I have several short stories published, only a few are impressed. The rest ask again about my novels. I actually used to be one of those folks who had no interest in short fiction until I started to write it.

When I began writing smaller works, I spent a lot of time learning how to create a different sort of tale. It was intimidating, and I stumbled several times along the way. I still want to write novels, but the lessons I learned have made me a better novelist.

Here are five fantastic reasons why writers should write short stories:

  1. To practice the craft. The hook, plot, characterization, conflict, pacing, and resolution. You don't have the room to maneuver as you do with novels. Every word counts. Stretch those creative muscles and learn to master each element.
  2. You can try different genres. I've published stories in several genres including science-fiction, erotica, and western. Discover new voices and try various styles. Challenge yourself and you'll become a better writer.
  3. Acceptance and exposure. It doesn't take long to get a short piece accepted, and sometimes they're published within a few months. Plus, the exposure is awesome. If readers like what you write, they'll buy your longer works.
  4. They're great for introducing your character(s) and/or world to readers. Consider the short tale a teaser. Hook them and they'll be calling for more.
  5. They help strengthen your fragile writer's ego. Getting one short story accepted is a huge boost to your self confidence. It feels good. Better than eating a whole bag of M&Ms.

Title: The 13th Floor Complete Collection
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance

Release date: October 13th, 2013

Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales.

A retired demon acquires a price on his head.
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find.
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.

All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.

Includes “The Shadow,” a bonus short story.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18460150-the-13th-floor-complete-collection

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristinerains
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@CRainsWriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4017568.Christine_Rains

Have you written any short stories? If so, what have you learned from them?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The third point is very valid. Often authors will let a short story be free so that people can download, enjoy, and then buy the author's full novels.

Murees Dupé said...

This is really great advice, as I only recently started working on shorter stories and it is tough. Thank you for sharing. I am getting your The 13th Floor series as it sounds really amazing.

shelly said...

Short stories are also a great discipline when it comes to curbing your word count. Also, I find a shorter story to write b/c most times the middle doesn't sag.

Good post, Summer.

Hugs and chocolate,

Angeline Trevena said...

Great piece. As a fellow short writer, I suffer exactly the same. Apparently, having a novel out (even self-published) is thought of more highly than having had a short story selected from thousands of submissions.

I've suffered snobbery from other writers, and that unimpressed look when people find out I'm a short writer.

Still, Ray Bradbury himself says all writers should start with shorts, so don't pay attention to the nay sayers!

Beverly Fox said...

Be still my heart, Christine! Perfectly voiced all my reasons for writing short stories (though the day I get an acceptance e-mail is, as yet, still a dream- but I'll keep wirting!)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Short stories are a great way to harness writing skills!

Cherie Reich said...

Fantastic advice! I don't think I would be the writer I am today without writing so many shorter works.

Jai said...

That's a brilliant idea - one I'll have to check out. After Nano of course. ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I began writing short stories and am considering revisiting them for a series of four I've wanted to write forever.

Sherry Ellis said...

Those are all great reasons to write short stories!

Sherry Ellis said...

Those are all great reasons to write short stories!

Christine Rains said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Summer!

Alex, it's an effective marketing tool. I know it helps to have my first novella in my series free.

Murees, thank you! Enjoy the series and good luck with your stories.

Shelly, that's true. Short stories are great for writers!

Angeline, it takes a fine creative mind to write a good short story. One of my fellow group members in my local critique group has over 400 short stories published. I'm very impressed!

Beverly, thanks!

Nicole, exactly!

Cherie, thanks, and you're an excellent short piece writer. I'm in awe of you!

Jai, after NaNo, yes! I'm doing it next month too. :)

Diane, excellent idea. Good luck!

Sherry, thank you!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Writing more short stories is on my to do list. Like your reasons.

Yolanda Renee said...

Wonderful points and I look forward to the day my short stories are published = oh wait, one was. A Zombie piece. LOL
Actually, when I started writing, it was a short story I was shooting for - it turned into a novel, so did the next one, and the one after that. It takes real talent to write a full story in fewer words, and I still struggle with it. I can do less than 1000 words for flash fiction but that 5000 word short - I struggle. But I will conquer it soon! It's a goal, and I always achieve my goals! LOL

Nick Wilford said...

You don't have room to mince words with a short story. I agree that it is a tough discipline, but very rewarding. One of the hardest things is basically jumping right into a certain point in a character's life, while also establishing them as someone the reader can sympathise with.

Christine Rains said...

Susan, thank you!

Yolanda, it's a good exercise to write short fiction. I struggled a lot with writing short pieces when I first started because everything I wrote wanted to turn into a novel too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Christine and Summer - good post ... I can see the advantages as you've described .. also the more work you have in the public domain the more you'll be remembered ..

Cheers Hilary

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