Short Story and Novella Series

Now that short story ebooks are selling well, and after reading Dean Wesley Smith made a new year resolution to write 100 short stories this year, I decided to look into the short story market.

I read a few short stories of Dean’s and others, free on the internet, and have not liked many, mainly because I invest time to read and the story is finished before I have empathy for the characters.

That is, until I read a SiFi short story by Dean Wesley Smith. Yes, I was disappointed it finished too soon. But, I realised I would read many more short stories about the same characters and in the same situation.

It would be like a series of novels, but shorter, and can be sold as a collection.

Along came Holly Lisle’s How To Write A Series just when I needed it.

The first week of the course is clear and concise, looking at all the types of series, and what to watch for in each type. If you are interested in writing a series, whether novels or novellas or short stories, have a look at the description of the course. As usual, Holly delivers much more than expected, just like she did in How To Think Sideways and How to Revise Your Novel.

I can now see the potential of creating a series of short stories or novellas that I would love to write, and hopefully, put up as eBooks when I write enough for a collection.

In fact, just working on the first week’s lessons, I have two ideas for a series that looks promising, and another two ideas that need more work before I will get excited about them.

Anyone else writing short stories? Interested in learning how to put a collection together as a series of short stories. Look at Holly’s link above and see if it is what you are looking for.

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8 comments so far

  1. LisaM on

    Great idea, Diane! I would definitely read a series of short stories about characters I’d grown to enjoy. 🙂

    • djmills on

      Have you downloaded How To Write A Series week one pdfs, etc? I have and love what I have read so far, and have accidently written my novels in one of the formats, so I am on the right track. I just thought a collection of short stories of same series characters, or place or whatever would work for me, and I might try it each day for an hour after I do my novel quota or words, aiming for one short story a week. Sort of like a busman’s holiday from the novels. 🙂

  2. Texanne on

    After a long dry spell, I’ve started getting ideas for shorter stories–which is a relief, because my writing time is so constricted. Already several authors I “know” from the Internet have put their short stories into Kindle format and offered them for sale. I think $.99 is a bit steep for a short story, but would be fine for a set of two short stories with the same characters or setting or theme.

    Thank you a bunch for this post and for the ideas. :)TX

    • djmills on

      I was thinking enough short stories to make up 40K or 50K words, so if the short stories were 10k each I would write 5 about the same place or same chars or whatever. I have to see if I can come up with enough ideas from the Series course to write them. I blame Dean Wesley Smith for putting these ideas in my head. 🙂

  3. Angela/Curiocat on

    Hey, Diane. I was reading how many words average in a short story and it’s up to about 7,500 words. Anything after that is a novellette. Here’s the link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count

    I love the idea of writing a series of short stories. At least two of the holiday stories I’ve planned will be connected with the protags in Star Crossed Hearts.

    • djmills on

      Good link, thanks. So when I think or talk of short stories, I am talking about short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Basically everything smaller than a novel. And DWS mentioned even novel length is getting smaller now ebooks are here to stay and it is not necessary to bulk up the novel with subplots to thicken the book enough to justify the price for readers.

  4. J.A. Marlow on

    I have a few short stories, but mostly I seem to gravitate to novelettes and up. That said, I have started a series of novellas (the Salmon Run series I’m chronicling on my blog), and it looks like possibly a series of novelettes. We’ll see how it works out.

    It’s exciting to be able to be flexible about story length. To be allowed to tell the story in whatever length it needs to be. I’m enjoying it a great deal.

    • djmills on

      Yes, a whole lot of possibilities are now available to us. 🙂


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