I’ve heard some writers suggest to new, unpublished writers that the newbee should write short stories. Their point is by writing short stories the new writer learns how to put together a story idea from beginning to end, hopefully won’t be discouraged by the length or by any rejections, and might have their work noticed by agents or editors. Those are all good ideas, IF…
IF the writer wants to write short stories and likes that shorter format, I think that’s great. But not all writers are programmed for short stories. I’ve written a few and had a couple published, but it’s the novel that appeals to me. It’s the novel that has enough breath to develop the ideas bouncing around in my head. Often, even when I start out wanting to write a short story, I find I have to abandon that idea because the story itself keeps growing until it’s outgrown the short story format.
I get upset when I hear others tell a new writer he should—or must—write short stories before graduating to novels. If that’s what they want to do, fine. If not, there’s no rule that says one must or that you won’t succeed unless you do.
I like reading novels. The longer book allows me a chance to get to know the characters, and live in that world for a period of time. Writing the novel, I’m able to show many sides to my characters, include others in the story (friends, family, and enemies), and develop the setting. With a novel I can have more than one story line, be it separate from or entwined with the main story line. A novel is a tapestry; a short story a throw rug.
I also like reading blogs, so I’m off to read a few. A-to-Z Blogging Challenge