People ask me why I write short stories. Joe sums it up well when he says:
"There’s something magical that happens when you finish a story.
Australian author and one of my favourites, Peter Carey, also started his writing career with short stories. When making the jump from advertising exec to writing, he would answer the inevitable "so what do you do?" at parties with "I am a writer" to the point where he actually had to became one. Other Australian writers who have produced fabulous short stories are David Malouf ('Towards Midnight' from Every Move You Make is brilliant!), Kate Grenville Bearded Ladies, Tim Winton The Turning and Peter Goldsworthy Gravel. Cate Kennedy and Amanda Lohrey are also well-known short story writers. And if your tastes lie overseas, then look no further than Somerset Maugham (UK) and Alice Munro (US).§ You can get published.§ You can get feedback.§ You can experience every aspect of the writing process, not just the first draft stage.All of this leads to becoming a better writer faster. You also begin the process of building a writing career and a platform for your fiction.I think that’s why so many great novelists through history first published short stories. Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, and even Stephen King didn’t start out writing novels. They built their craft and their careers with short stories."
So, why do I write short stories? To hone my craft (every word counts!), for more instant gratification (competitions) and because I can't help myself - I see short stories everywhere. Not that it's easy. My writing teacher, Isabel D'Avila Winter, said most writers spend about 10 hours editing each page (that's about 250 words). Sometimes, I edit and revise my stories 15 times before I think they're polished enough to send off. So next time you read a cracker of a short story, just remember, they don't come easy. Not that I'm complaining. Short stories just appeal to the perfectionist in me.
I'd like to give a plug to Joe Bunting's new ebook:
Let’s Write a Short Story! is available as a PDF or for your Kindle or Nook reader. It’s also available on letswriteashortstory.com