As writers, we are always looking for ways to improve our craft. There are lots of exercises we can do and methods we can experiment with to try and get better at writing, to find our writing voice and help us to feel more confident and self-assured when it comes to our writing.
Of course, every writer is different and finding methods that work for you is all about trial and error. One of the most popular ways, however, is to practice your writing by trying your hand at short stories. There are many reasons why doing so can be helpful for novel writers. Let’s take a look at some of them.
A tight plot
When it comes to short stories you need to really focus on your plot. Your story, like a novel, must have a beginning, a middle and an end. It must grip the reader, and flow well, hold their excitement and feel like a proper story with a satisfying conclusion. Writing short stories allows you to get very good at understanding what elements are necessary to make a story work.
Practicing writing interesting and exciting characters, developing them, and making your readers care about them is so important if you want to improve as a writer. Writing short stories is an excellent way of doing so, and you may end being inspired to take a character you’ve written in your short story and using them in your novel.
Making every word count
Short stories are precisely that - short. Because you have fewer words to play with you’ll become a dab hand at making sure that every single word counts and knowing how to cut out anything irrelevant that doesn’t drive your story forwards. This will help you no end when it comes to writing your book.
Of course, short stories need editing just like novels do, and the more you practice editing, the more you’ll become skilled and eagle eyed at spotting mistakes, which will make the mammoth task of editing your novel a whole lot easier.
The more we write the better we are!
Let’s face it, the one main way to get better at writing is to write! Writing short stories builds our confidence and gives us all the practice we need to improve our writing every single day.
Writing is something where there is always room for improvement, and if you spend some time writing short stories you are sure to find that you become a better writer and will find it easier to write your novel too.
Maybe I should be trying this. though I'm not sure how this would work for memoir writing. Though maybe I could write an autobiographical essay. I'd like to travel somewhere, though I can't really afford to travel. If only I could just go somewhere new and inexpensive for a day or two to take in the scenery might make for a great travel writing essay.
But I have always wanted to write a novel, so maybe I do need to try writing short stories. But if writing short stories, helps with the editing process, it might not matter if I write a fictional short story or an unto biographical essay. The instructor for the memoir writing class I took this summer advised writing everyday. I guess this could be one way to do it.