Let's build ourselves a Short Story community!



You shall have only one captain before you! And his name is Khaaaaan!

Sorry. I meant Kirk.

I suppose it’s like Doctor Who. You prefer the Doctor you grew up with, and measure all others by against that one.


I grew up with movieverse Kirk. Wrath of Khan was the first film my parents took me to see at the cinema. But in terms of Captains I carry a torch for Sisko and Archer. Picard and Janeway never did it for me.


The distinction between short stories and novels is increasingly ticking me off. I’ve almost never written anything under the idea of “this is going to be a short story” or “this is going be a novella or novel”. That’s never been how I wrote.

If I had just one hour to myself, every single day, to myself for thirty years straight, I could write something to the length of Les Miserables.

The fact I even have to think about what it’s going to be, has effected my productivity more than anything else. I want to write as long as whatever my story demands it to be, and not have to think about things like word count, syllables, or accent marks.

The only reason I dislike serials, as least as it’s done in web comic zines, is it being subject to cancellation at any point by CEOs that play to a fictitious market, rather than what actually works for your story.

I want to end a story, when I feel like ending it, or even writing extended series of interconnected short stories without having to worry about minutia like whether it’s a short or novella.:confused:


I’m on track for NaNo! I’m actually a bit ahead…


also, this is a tiny bit off the subject, but would you be alright if I made a separate thread (similar to this) that could talk about NaNo directly? I’d love help if you’re alright with that. :slight_smile:


Pretty good, just finished a chapter today.

I decided that despite not doing it, I’ve set a goal for myself on finishing a chapter each week and so far it’s going pretty well.


I’m trying nano for the first time this year- I’m not taking it too seriously, don’t want to be disappointed with myself if I don’t get that many words by the end of the month. It’ll be interesting to see how many words I write monthly. I’m going to see how I go, and I’m enjoying it so far. :slight_smile: I’m combining a few different ideas for my project- expanding on a short story I wrote a while back, using characters from a story I was working on with some friends a few years ago that never really got to get used in anything else. I feel like my concept could be better, but I’m going to stick with it anyway and try not to let perfectionism get in my way.


That’s a good idea! Glad it’s working for you.


Sounds good to me!


Glad to hear it! Are you work reports taking up less of your energy, then?


That’s fine by me!

Happy to help, but not sure how I’d be helpful?


Also a good goal! It’s about what will motivate you to do more.

Have you got a routine to help you fit it in around school?


It will be! I tracked my word count all of 2017 just to see what it was like and it was really interesting (so I’m doing it again this year)

That’s good.

This is a first draft, things can always be better. The important this is that you’re writing it down and you can fix it later.


Don’t think I answered yet.

Writing has been good for me this week, as in 1) I’ve written and 2) I’m enjoying it. I’m not doing NaNo - it’s not really for me - , but I have picked up a list of prompts that I’m trying to write a few paragraphs about each day. They’re technically Inktober prompts, but they focus on settings/worldbuilding which is my favourite element of writing, so they seemed like a great option to help me get back into writing after an unhappy slump. It’s working well!


Weekly Discussion Topic No. 11

What immediately puts you off a short story, as a reader?

@LaughandJoy @makingmywaves @music_ally @sarakbeeksma @cdcraftee @johnnedwill @StellaAddison @SylviaWolfe @ThomasWalborn @_beebbab @messyfirstdraft @Marigold91 @Medula-Oblongata @astrxphoria @KateAnnee @LadyofthePond @TEHauxwell


Take a look at the @BeyondSol profile, which is for SF writers. They share member stories by creating reading lists for various sub-genres. Authors apply for inclusion by filling out a form. Details are in the profile guidebook. Doesn’t seem to be worrying the SF mods yet.


Sounds like my kind of thing!

Reading lists and profiles are fine, that statement came from a debate of whether we were ok to share links to stories written for this prompt given it’s a kind of book club. Answer ended up being yes so long as they’re in a thread specifically in the book club section, which is why we have Short Story Writers Writing/Book Club


Reading List Update

Speaking of which, for anyone new here (or who just forgot because it’s been a while) you can find a list of the short stories posted for the first prompt here!

If you’re a writer, PM me a link and a small summary and I’ll add it.

@LaughandJoy @makingmywaves @music_ally @sarakbeeksma @cdcraftee @johnnedwill @StellaAddison @SylviaWolfe @ThomasWalborn @_beebbab @messyfirstdraft @Marigold91 @Medula-Oblongata @astrxphoria @KateAnnee @LadyofthePond @TEHauxwell


The short story as a format or the individual story I happen to be reading?

The short story as a format has to be as emotionally satisfying as a full length novel if a reader is going to invest time in reading it. Also, if it’s not part of a longer serialisation it has to come to a logical conclusion that ties off all the elements of a plot. That can be quite a challenge and I think some of the reluctance around reading short stories can come from readers feeling that they’re not going to get the same level of satisfaction or have time to develop a relationship with the characters as they would if they were reading a full length novel. This might be a controversial POV but I think that’s why the short story format works so well in erotica, where readers might not be expecting the same emotional payback as a full length romance novel or the intellectual challenge of a full blown fantasy SF or crime novel.

As for what puts me off reading an individual short story, if the opening paragraph is detailed exposition and uses up more than 500 words I know I’m reading someone who’s not used to the format. Other than that it would be the usual that puts me off any kind of prose. Clunky sentence structure, bad grammar and punctuation, and an obvious lack of proof reading.


That’s an interesting point I’ve never really thought of. I think part of the challenge you mention comes from writers who treat short stories as mini novels and try to do everything a novel does, which is generally not a good idea. There are things you can get away with in novels that you can’t in short stories (and vice versa). For example, in terms of not creating relationships with characters, I’d say an important factor of a short story is to have less characters than a novel. You can’t introduce 5 characters in 1000 words and expected readers to understand and love them all. Unless you’re a writing god, I guess.