The Benefits of Short Stories versus Novels

If you are a writer who believes that it is only novels that are worth writing then you might be surprised at just how beneficial short stories can be. Many people believe that short stories are a transition period to writing novels. They believe that once they have learned how to write a novel than they no longer need to worry about writing short stories. The truth is though; most authors continue to write short stories throughout their entire life. Stephen King still writes enough short stories to be able to publish an anthology of them every few years. So what are the benefits of short stories both monetarily and for your writing career? Let’s take a look.

Short Stories Are Shorter

Obviously, short stories are shorter. That means that it does not take nearly as long to write them and if you are learning your craft, then you are able to take a story from point A to point Z and finish it. With enough practice, you will become an expert in telling a story in that way and it will definitely help you write better novels.

You Can Price Them about the Same in Some Genres

There are some genres where you can publish short stories and sell them for almost the same price that you would sell a full-length novel. This is especially true in the erotica genre. If you are self-publishing, then this may be something you want to consider because you can churn out a lot more short stories then you can novels and it can help you make money quickly.

If They Are Good, They Can be Worth an Amount Equivalent to a First-Novel Advance

If you write a really excellent short story and it gets picked up by a major magazine like Playboy, you can earn as much for that short story as you could for first-time novel. The average advance for first-time novel is $2500-$4500 and getting smaller. Many magazines will pay that for an excellent short story that has enough words to justify the cost.

You Can Hone Your Craft Faster

Another big benefit is that you can hone your craft faster when you write short stories. You are always writing about new characters, new places and new ways for your characters to talk to each other. You are always creating new beginnings and new endings. All of these things teach you something. Every time you finish a short story, you learn something vital and improve. That’s why it is a good idea to continue writing them even after you’ve started writing novels.

You Can Always Create an Anthology

You can easily create anthologies of your own stories and sell them if you decide that you do not want to write novels at all. In fact, some people get together with other writers of the same genre and every year or so they publish an anthology with all their stories together and share the profits from it.