Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From Faery Rose Editor, Claudia Fallon

I read someplace that writing a short story/novella can be harder than writing a novel. If so, consider the latest call for submissions a challenge, all you novelists out there!

Remember, a short story/novella is not a novel outline so don’t treat it as one. To get into the mood, read some (preferably fantasy) to get the feel. (Hint: check out the Faery line at The Wild Rose Press.) Break a few down and analyze them to see how the author sets everything up. You can’t spend pages and pages describing the heroine or the spooky old house she inherits from a mysterious great-aunt she had never met before in a short story. You have to be thrifty with your words and write tightly. Every sentence must contribute.

Just because it’s a short story you’re writing doesn’t mean you can dash off something then send it off. We do have standards here. We expect polished manuscripts. That includes plot, action, setting, description and character development. It includes proper spelling, punctuation and manuscript formatting. And there absolutely must be a HEA (Happily Ever After) ending. That can’t be stressed enough.

Last but not least: get your story critiqued. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean it won’t benefit from a pair (or more) of discerning eyes. If you don’t have a critique partner or group, consider finding one, or start your own. Check out the Rose Trellis , a critique group sponsored by The Wild Rose Press. You can find out more by visiting http://thewildrosepress.com/publisher/ and clicking on TWRP Critique Group.

Good luck and I look forward to reading your submission!

Claudia Fallon


Sarah Hansen said...

Well said, Claudia. I think short stories are tricky for writers. You need to get the whole story in, but in less space. Truly a challenge for the brave!

Amanda Barnett Freelance Editor said...

I agree! Writing shorter works makes a writer work harder to deliver all the perks we expect from a longer book. Thanks, Claudia!

Amanda Barnett

Kelly McCrady said...

I agree. Especially the part about short stories being lean, not skeletal (in spite of what we publish here at Faery at Halloween time). Give it the meat without the fluff.