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cerissa
12-09-2014, 05:45 PM
I am new to writing, and have a lot of fun researching, but when it comes to writing, I get scared and put it off. but I started the other day on my first story. I decided I will write whatever comes to my mind, I don't care if it sucks or doesn't sound good. then when I get done writing I will revise the heck out of it. since I moved back in with my mom and step dad, I can only use my typewriter at certain times, they don't like the sound of it, so that puts a damper on my writing, but my goal is to writie 2 short stories or novella by may, and have them revised and rewrote.

Phaeal
12-09-2014, 06:49 PM
Welcome to the adventure and good luck with your plan!

StoryofWoe
12-09-2014, 07:30 PM
That's the way to do it: don't worry about how good or bad it is. All first drafts suck. Just write your butt off! I wish you the best of luck.

"You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page." - Jodi Picoult

cerissa
12-09-2014, 07:35 PM
thanks, its my first one, and the first time I tried, I spent an hour trying to make the perfect first line. I finally just crumbled it up and threw it away. then I just sat down and wrote, I didn't care how bad it sucked. and the first day I wrote like 6 pages in an hour or so. my main goal is to get good enough at writing so I can write a epic novel. but want to get a number of short stories down first.

StoryofWoe
12-09-2014, 08:51 PM
Short stories can help with craft, but writing short stories as preparation for a novel is like training for the hundred-meter dash when what you want to do is run a marathon. They require two very different sets of skills. That said, if you're just dipping your toe into writing, short stories can feel less daunting. Go ahead and start with shorts, but if your goal is to write a novel, don't wait too long before moving on. Even if you have to write one or two crappy novels before you hit your stride, the lessons you'll learn will be well worth it.

This article by Myke Cole might be of interest to you: http://mykecole.com/blog/2013/03/why-i-dont-write-short-stories-except-when-i-do

cerissa
12-09-2014, 08:52 PM
I didn't even think of that, I just figured it would be the same. I will keep that in mind and just get into novel writing. :-)

Marlys
12-09-2014, 09:03 PM
I disagree that the skills are totally different. Yes, for a novel there are things about pace and structure that short stories will teach you little about. But short stories are wonderful if you're a beginning writer and need to get a handle on things like dialogue, creating characters, learning how to show and not tell. If you need to keep a story to a particular word limit, you can learn a lot about writing concisely, because you're forced to consider whether each word is carrying its weight. If you have grammatical weaknesses, you can work on them in smaller pieces and iron them out--instead of, say, dangling your modifiers all over an 85,000 word novel and then having to go back, find them, and fix them all.

So no, short stories won't prepare you for all the challenges of writing a novel. But yeah, they can help strengthen your writing before you tackle one.

StoryofWoe
12-10-2014, 11:54 AM
I disagree that the skills are totally different. Yes, for a novel there are things about pace and structure that short stories will teach you little about. But short stories are wonderful if you're a beginning writer and need to get a handle on things like dialogue, creating characters, learning how to show and not tell. If you need to keep a story to a particular word limit, you can learn a lot about writing concisely, because you're forced to consider whether each word is carrying its weight. If you have grammatical weaknesses, you can work on them in smaller pieces and iron them out--instead of, say, dangling your modifiers all over an 85,000 word novel and then having to go back, find them, and fix them all.

So no, short stories won't prepare you for all the challenges of writing a novel. But yeah, they can help strengthen your writing before you tackle one.

I think of it more along the lines of there being a central toolkit that all (fiction) writers will draw from regardless of what they're working on at any given time. In this kit, you'll find grammar, spelling, showing rather than telling, precision, etc. This knowledge is carried from project to project, whether it be a short story, a novelette, or an epic fantasy novel.

Short stories are great because you can churn out more of them and maintain your enthusiasm with fresh ideas while you work on honing your skills. However, I think it's easy to get caught up in the instant gratification of starting, finishing, and then moving on. Plus, it's easier to find people to read and critique your short story, since it's less time and effort on their part.

Writing a novel doesn't provide that same regular gratification. For a long time (however long it takes to write and edit it at least once), it's just you and your book, which requires advanced tools. Short fiction could be looked at the same way: while a novel allows a bit more room for character development and scene setting, a short story must be crisp, concise, straight to the point. Granted, many novels would benefit from this type of treatment, too. I do agree that starting with short stories is probably the OP's best bet for figuring out their strengths and weaknesses and where to go from there.

cerissa
12-10-2014, 05:24 PM
thanks yall, you guys have all been nice, as sometimes you go on boards and they are mean and you get crap for asking anything. I appreciate all the opinions, as im a new writer I am trying to soak up a lot of stuff.

Siri Kirpal
12-10-2014, 11:24 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Best of luck!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal