PDA

View Full Version : How Do I Get 'Into' The Writing Business Best?



Sean D. Schaffer
11-20-2006, 09:44 AM
I have a question concerning getting into the writing business.

Should I introduce my novel as a first work, or should I instead introduce myself to the business using short stories and such?

The reason I ask is, I've seen a number of authors who started with short stories and the like, and then moved on to writing books. Should I make myself known to the short story market before I go on to writing novels?


Thanks in advance for your answers, everyone.

Birol
11-20-2006, 10:34 AM
Can you work on short stories while writing your novel?

mistri
11-20-2006, 04:39 PM
I don't think it matters one way or the other. Plenty of writers are published without writing shorts, but if you enjoy writing them - go for it.

Short story writing is, to an extent, a different discipline to novel writing, so success in one doesn't necessarily guarantee it in the other.

PeeDee
11-20-2006, 07:10 PM
You can go either way. I think that a lot of writers first enter into the writerly world through short stories because that's what they start writing, what they start cutting their teeth on...and then, later, they undertake a novel.

No requirements. If you have a novel in you, write it, and if it gets published first then more power to you.

Siddow
11-20-2006, 07:33 PM
Just write well. Write what you are passionate about--whether the form is long, short, true or made-up.

And then send your work to people who will buy it.

That's about all there is to it.

Toothpaste
11-20-2006, 07:44 PM
I agree with everyone above. Just do what you wanna do. I started with rather grown up plays, and then just decided one day to write a children's novel.

Sean D. Schaffer
11-20-2006, 07:46 PM
Okay, cool. I was not sure how best to go about the business of writing. It's good to know that there really is no set formula.

Part of my problem has been, all my life, that I do enjoy writing short shorts sometimes, but I really am not a short story person. My favorite thing to write has always been the novel. It is good to know that I can basically do what I wish with my career, and that I don't have to follow a partiuclar set of rules.


Thank you all kindly for your answers.

Birol
11-20-2006, 08:26 PM
I've said it before. I'll say it again.

There are as many paths to writing as their are writers, but whatever path you choose, someone will have walked it before you.

PeeDee
11-20-2006, 08:29 PM
I think part of the problem with the writing world is that, even though there are precedents (set by those who came before you), there are no hard-and-fast writerly rules.

In plumbing, there are basic rules you'd best follow, unless you want a basement swimming pool. In construction, if you don't want to waste a lot of time just to wind up with stacked lumber again, there are rules...

....but in writing, there's a million billion different ways to get where you're trying to go, and not all of them are a rule.

(except, of course, for the big rule, which is don't write crap, and keep writing)

Cav Guy
11-20-2006, 09:06 PM
I think the general perception used to be that you start by writing short stories and then moved up to novels. This was of course when there were many more magazines dealing with short fiction (the "pulps" as well as more "literary" outlets) in existence. These days it seems to be harder to get into shorts, especially in some of the genre niches (not much of a market for Western short stories these days, although fantasy/SF and mystery still have strong followings).

Myself, I've always been more of a novel guy than a short story guy, although I did go through a short story phase in my early 20s. The first thing I really started was a novel (around 7th grade I think it was) and I've always felt more comfortable with the expanded room to play. But to each his own!

PeeDee
11-20-2006, 09:08 PM
I think the general perception used to be that you start by writing short stories and then moved up to novels. This was of course when there were many more magazines dealing with short fiction (the "pulps" as well as more "literary" outlets) in existence. These days it seems to be harder to get into shorts, especially in some of the genre niches (not much of a market for Western short stories these days, although fantasy/SF and mystery still have strong followings).

I think this is just too damn bad, and I've said it before. I've always thought the short story was my most comfortable medium, and I would love to take the Harlan Ellison/Ray Bradbury sort of career style and do loads of short stories.

Alas, it would never work.

Cav Guy
11-20-2006, 09:25 PM
I think this is just too damn bad, and I've said it before. I've always thought the short story was my most comfortable medium, and I would love to take the Harlan Ellison/Ray Bradbury sort of career style and do loads of short stories.

Alas, it would never work.

Agreed. I do miss the days of the wide short story market, and have seen some authors who went on to novel length stuff who were actually better with short stories.

Perhaps in some way the Internet will eventually grow to fill that void. It does in fits and starts now, but not in the same way that the old pulps did.

PeeDee
11-20-2006, 09:26 PM
Agreed. I do miss the days of the wide short story market, and have seen some authors who went on to novel length stuff who were actually better with short stories.

Perhaps in some way the Internet will eventually grow to fill that void. It does in fits and starts now, but not in the same way that the old pulps did.

It's getting there. More so now than two years ago. I'm hoping it keeps growing. The internet more than anything else has the potential for this, and I hope it fufills it. That'd make me very happy.

Simon Woodhouse
11-20-2006, 10:01 PM
or should I instead introduce myself to the business using short stories and such?

I planned on going this route, but it didn't work out. I had no luck with my short stories, and so put the idea aside and concentrated whole-heartedly on the novel. When my novel found a publisher, I realised I needed another way of getting my name out there.

I started writing reviews and articles for an entertainment e-zine (for free), and each piece I wrote contained a link back to my website. I then found another e-zine that did the same thing, but also paid a nominal fee. Now I'm writing more and more articles, getting paid for each one and also getting my name out there.

The publisher I'm with is a small outfit in Australia. They don't have a huge marketing budget, so I'm going to use the money I'm earning writing articles to buy advertising space (I don't know where yet). When I started out, it never occurred to me to do things this way.

Birol
11-20-2006, 10:48 PM
Agreed. I do miss the days of the wide short story market,

::cough::CoyoteWild (http://www.coyotewildmag.com/)::cough::



The next reading period opens in 10 days.

Cav Guy
11-20-2006, 11:17 PM
Yeah, but I was talking more about a wide arena - as in a number of genre-focused magazines that people could use to sample writing and hone their skills. Good to see there are some out there, and possibly more coming.