BLOGGER: B.J. TAYLOR
Editorial Representative, Guideposts Magazine
BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR BY WRITING SHORT STORIES THAT SELL
You want to write novels. Me, too! But something happened along the way in my writing career. I became good at writing short stories that sell. And it helps me write novels. No kidding.
Here’s what happens when you write short stories:
It teaches you to write tight. If you can write a beginning, middle, and end in 1,200 to 1,500 words that captivate and entertain a reader, you can sell short stories. And with that, you have the ability to write a novel (which is a beginning, middle, and end). Think of your novel as also captivating and entertaining a reader one chapter at a time.
It teaches you to work with an editor. Every story you submit for publication goes through an editor who will work with you to make the story acceptable for the publication. You might be asked to make changes, delete some of your precious sentences, or cut a paragraph or two. When you graciously work with an editor, you build a reputation for being a joy to work with.
It teaches you to meet deadlines. Submissions must be received by a drop-dead date. Writing for a short story publication will help you to focus on a deadline and meet it.
It provides you with a byline. Seeing your name in print never gets old, even for me after 40 stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, multiple bylines in other magazines, and even on my nonfiction books. The fact that you’re a published author is huge! It will help you to snare an agent and even a publisher. Many will ask you where you’ve been published. If you can list your success, it’s a true bonus.
It provides you with an income. Hey, making $200 for a short story (or more depending on the market), is a lot more than fish bait. I never sneeze at an opportunity to sell my writing because every dollar counts in today’s expensive world. Would you agree?
It provides you with a shot in the arm. There isn’t anything better than feeling really good as a writer. And being published accomplishes that. As you toil on your novel writing, short story sales keep your spirits high and your enthusiasm soaring.
For more information on the formula used successfully by many short story writers, see the book on Amazon, P MS to a T: the Winning Formula for Writing Nonfiction Short Stories that Sell.
Ready to learn more about writing essays and short stories for periodicals? Plan to attend Jesse Florea’s Major Morning Track ~ Magazine Writing: Starting Point or Destination?