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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short but not so Sweet

Please welcome guest blogger Anna Hackett

It seems life gets busier and busier.  There’s never enough time for reading (and writing) in between work, family, cooking, cleaning, shopping, emailing, blogging and Tweeting.  Enter the short story.

In today’s busy lifestyle, readers are looking for convenient reads of the perfect length to squeeze into life’s craziness.  Many people don’t have the time or energy to immerse themselves in the complex worlds of longer stories.  Instead, they want a quick fix.

The classic definition of a short story is a story that can be read in one sitting.  It’s a story that is lean and mean—all muscle, no fat.  It grips the reader from the first sentence and doesn’t let go.  Short stories are about INTENSITY.  A lot happens in a very short time and we get to the good stuff straight away.  Every word counts, every word moves the story forward.

When crafting a short story, you need to remember that you can’t get too complex in your world-building, you can’t have too many characters and you can’t have any sub-plots.  You need to focus in on a particular character, incident or moment.  If a novel is a cake, a short story is a slice of it

There are so many good reasons to write short stories: from reaching THE END in only hours, days or weeks rather than months or years, to providing a path into the publishing world (I’m an example of this – I entered a short story competition and sold my first short story, Savage Dragon, to an editor at Harlequin), they are way to build writing credits (especially with the e-publishing and self-publishing options available today) and you can experiment with different genres, writing styles or points of view without committing to a full book.

If you’ve already tackled writing a short but want to refine your process, tried a short but come unstuck or are just not sure how to begin these smaller, tighter pieces, then check out my online workshop, Short Story, Big Impact.

Short Story, Big Impact: Taking the Short Story Road to Success, presented by Anna Hackett, runs from May 7, 2012 through June 3, 2012

Anna Hackett is a mining engineer by day and a writer by night. She delights in combining action, adventure and a healthy dose of romance in her paranormal stories. An experienced trainer and presenter, Anna loves sharing the writing craft tips and tricks she’s learned as a writer. Anna writes paranormal short stories for Harlequin Nocturne Bites and her latest release is One Night with the Wolf. Visit her online at: www.annahackettbooks.com


Jill Archer said...

Enjoyed reading this. My writing can be sprawling at times. I'd love to attempt a short story one day to discipline me. Maybe this summer! :-)

Anna Hackett said...

Hi Jill --
I know the feeling of writing getting away from you! You should definitey try a short story to work on the discipline. Good luck!

Ann | Creative Boomer said...

Anna, this class looks interesting.
I've been writing non-fiction and just recently started fantasy fiction. Been a life-long reader of fantasy/sci-fi with strong female leads (not easy to find!)
I'll have to sign up for RWA because how can I resist this class since it's taught by another "engineer by day!"

Emmeline Lock said...

Hi Anna,

I love your stories--intense and powerful, for sure!

Totally agree that a short is great blast of escape that we can squeeze into our busy lives. Love that.

Having seen your online course, I can only recommend that people who are considering doing it, do it now! It helped me no end. Fabulous.

Best of luck! Emmeline.