From Novels back to Short Stories

With “Bitter, Sweet” soon coming out, and with all the work I’ve been doing these past months with the ms, I have sort of forgotten about some of my other writing. This novel has been all consuming. I’m even starting to wonder what will happen to my characters in the future. The more I work on the book the more I become wrapped up in my character’s lives.

When I first began writing I started out with short stories. I love writing short stories because there is not a whole lot of room to move around. The story gets told in a few thousand words and those words really need to count. They are a challenge to write. I have had over forty short stories published in literary magazines as well as some non-fiction articles over the years and it is something that I feel is a great accomplishment for me.

Another good thing about short stories is that you are not investing a substantial amount of time writing them and with any luck you’ll see results quicker than if you are working on a novel. A novel would have been too ambitious an undertaking for me to start out with. Besides, I freely admit that I had much to learn, never having taken a writing course and anything of that nature. Short stories are a really good starting point for anyone wanting to get into something more challenging like novel writing.

So here I have been so wrapped up in the novel that when I received an email from the editor of TRANSITION, a publication put out by the mental health society of Saskatchewan, I was really quite surprised. Not surprised that he had chosen my story for publication as this will be my fifth appearance in their magazine but because I wasn’t even thinking about the story being out there and awaiting a decision.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that every publishing credit counts and they are all something to be celebrated along the way. One is no more or less important than another. They all help shape us as writers and we all work at our own pace to obtain what we consider to be that ultimate goal.

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  1. Congratulations!! When will the story be coming out?


  2. Thanks! It will appear in their fall issue which is due out in late October.


  3. newtowritinggirl

     /  August 18, 2009

    That’s a nice surprise. I bet you still get a big buzz from hearing that – even after 40+…


  4. “…every publishing credit counts and they are all something to be celebrated along the way. One is no more or less important than another. They all help shape us as writers….”

    That’s so true, Laura. I’ve only had one short story published, but lots of non-fiction items in newspapers and magazines, and each of them seemed like an achievement at the time. I’m still polishing my novels, however, and hope one day they’ll be ready to venture out into the public eye. Writing is a constant learning process. Congratulations on your upcoming release.


    • Thanks Carol. I totally agree with you when you say that writing is a constant learning process.

      I’ve written a bit of non-fiction but to be honest I never felt qualified enough to write it but I work at it a bit because I find it a challenge. I have a great respect for writers of non-fiction and to be honest I’ve made more money writing non-fiction than fiction over the years..


  5. The first thing I wrote was a novel. Silly me. Then I spent four years re-writing it. Ahh, so it is.
    I love writing shorts! Congratulations!



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