Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Short Story Form

I'm currently working on two short stories. Both are for anthology invitations. For years, while I pursued the writing of strictly novel-length manuscripts, I ignored the short story form. Then, a couple of years ago after being invited to submit short stories to some anthologies, I took brief breaks from novels to work again on short fiction.

I enjoy writing stories, but they're an awful lot of toil, and I think it's true what many writers say about the form. It really is harder to write a short story than it is to complete a decent novel. I was exceptionally pleased with my effort for the anthology DEAD BAIT 2, and that got me working at the short story form again.

Now I'm signing contracts for my short story collection A CONFEDERACY OF HORRORS and I'm hoping that will soon appear as an ebook. I'll post here when it's ready for purchase.

Some of the illustrations that were originally to grace A CONFEDERACY OF HORRORS (by the late Harry Fassl). Click to embiggen.


MarkGelbart said...

I find it much easier to write short stories than novels. I enjoy writing them more and can finish them in a week. With novel writing I get bored with the idea I originally came up with and lose confidence that it's worth the effort.

The main reason I stopped writing short stores is because I just don't see a market for them. Overall, I'd say the fiction market today is very poor, except maybe for unionized screenwriters.

HemlockMan said...

You'd be right about the markets. Paying markets for short stories are very few and the competition is fierce. If I wrote for profit I'd never have written anything at all. I've never made more than $30K in one year from writing, so I'd have starved to death if that had been the only way of paying the bills.

There are lots of markets for short stories that pay token amounts or not at all. That's always a good way to find your writing legs, if you're just starting out and learning how to create a story. But I don't write anymore unless I think there's a reasonable amount of money for the effort. (With the exception of writing a few things for editors who are friends or things written purely for the sake of promotions.)

MarkGelbart said...

If I could write fiction for anything close to $30 K a year, I'd still be writing it.

Robin Eduardo said...

That's exactly how I feel about it. There's no real pay in writing short stories, not unless you release a collection yourself and it is successful. But writing short stories for other people just doesn't pay off, not in cash nor really, in promotion.

I've recently decided to switch to self publishing my shorts at Createspace for the e-book market on the cheap, (99 cent downloads.) Now I'll only sub my shorts to publisher friends or charitible anthos.

HemlockMan said...

@Robin: I keep meaning to publish my short fiction in ebook format. I was getting ready to place several of them that way but was offered a contract from an ebook publisher. So I'm going that route.

@Mark: That's the best year I've had. I've only had three like that. In almost thirty years of writing.