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Writing and Publishing

Analyze Your Short Stories

Analyze Your Short Stories

In my post “Writers Should Start Short and Then Go Long,” I talked about the benefits of writing short stories. I’ve catalogued mine and analyzed them. You should analyze your short stories too.

Here Are My Results

So far, I’ve written 23 short stories (plus one that turned into a novella).

Most of them are third person, past tense, which most readers prefer and is an easy default for most authors. But I’ve also written first person, as well as present tense, in addition to one second person piece.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Third person, past tense: 14 stories
  • First person, present tense: 5 stories
  • First person, past tense: 2 stories
  • Third person, present tense: 1 story
  • Second person, present tense: 1 story

First person, past tense is the easiest to write, but I prefer the personal, immediacy of first person, present tense. (And I doubt I’ll ever write second person again.)

Considering Genre

Looking at the genre is a bit more complicated, as some of them I’m not really sure about and others are cross genre. Here’s my first attempt:

  • Contemporary fiction: 7
  • Young Adult: 6
  • Middle Grade: 4 (all my middle grade shorts are backstories for characters in my novels)
  • Contemporary fantasy: 3
  • Sci-Fi: 2
  • Romance: 1 (though most of my writing has a romantic element)

As far as my novels—two are done but not-yet-published with five more in various stages of writing—they are all third person, past tense.

And my one novella is first person, present tense.

For genre, I think they cover young adult, contemporary fantasy, romance, and sci-fi.

Analyze Your Short Stories

Why do I share this?

Analyze your short stories to see what you write—and don’t write. Also notice what you like and don’t like.

Use the results to chart your path forward.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.

Categories
Writing and Publishing

Writers Should Start Short and Then Go Long

Writers Should Start Short and Then Go Long

In “How to Write a Book,” I posted that the best approach for aspiring book authors is to start out with shorter pieces. No one wants to hear that, but it’s true.

Shorter pieces let writers experiment and learn—quickly. Feedback is fast. And in an online world, corrections are easy to make.

For nonfiction writers, shorter pieces mean blog posts and articles.

For fiction it means short stories.

Nonfiction Results

Over the years, I’ve written a couple thousand blog posts, which are mostly on my main website and with many more here on this site. (I once had five blogs going. Now I’ve consolidated them and am down to two.)

I’ve also written hundreds of articles—both in print and online—many of which I’ve compiled and catalogued here on this site as well.

In addition, I’ve ghost-written several hundred pieces—mostly blog posts along with some articles—for my writing clients too.

These amount to more than one million words. And I wrote most of them before I published my first book, which now total two dozen—and growing. They are all listed here in the books section, as well as other places, too, such as my main website and my business writing website.

Fiction Initiatives

I’ve not done nearly as much in the fiction area, but I did cut my teeth on short stories before attempting novels. Though a few of my short stories have been published, my novels are still in progress, but I am getting closer to publication.

I just need to allocate time to work on them.

Moving Forward with Shorter Pieces and Long

I’ll continue to write short, as I now focus on writing long.

I have a list of over one hundred book ideas, which should keep me busy for a long time.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.