Continuing Education for the Writer – Technical vs. Sales

There is a six week course about writing a short story being offered by my local community college in which students learn how to properly craft a short story.

Recommended reading include:

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction by Ann Charters 

Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction by Damon Knight

I registered for this course and fully intend to join the first class on tomorrow night. I will keep you up to date on what happens and my grades.

However on this weekend in which I didn’t have full access to a computer, I dug into this class – reading the recommended reading and pouring over the syllabus.

The first thing that struck me was that a short story was not a condensed novel. A short story is a unique writing form. In a short span of time with one or two characters and a single climatic episode the story is told often with an abrupt ending.

Calendar Girl Cover

Calendar Girl Cover

Looking over my own writing, I can see that I’ve published two short stories – Cheers and A Night at the Wesley and two condensed novels – Calendar Girl and In the Moment. The top seller and most highly rated out of all of these has been In the Moment, the condensed novel.

I also looked at the most highly rated and sold ebooks in the Amazon category of romantic short stories and technically they’re not short stories. But they’re selling big time.

The first question that I’ve have for my prof tomorrow night will be if the condensed novel has replaced the short story as a stand alone art form? The second will be which are readers willing to shell out there hard earned money to buy. The third is for me – Just what the hell do I publish?

 

 

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