Kaye George: “Why Should a Novelist Write Short Stories?”
Not all novelists should, of course. But many do. Ever wonder why?
I know that some big name authors have been asked by their publishers to put out short stories in between the novels, to keep their names before the public, and to remind the readers that they’re out there. Another book is coming! Here’s this little story in the meantime to hold you over.
Sometimes a novelist will want to explore a minor character further. A short story featuring that character is an excellent way to do this. You can give that character center stage and, in writing his or her own story, discover things about them that can be used in a later novel.
Another thing a novelist can explore in a short story is background. Prequels are a good way to let the reader in on the backstory in detail. You can indulge yourself and expand on the life of the main character, and others, by delving into what exactly makes them tick.
It’s fun to put your characters into another setting and see what happens. This is another fun indulgence. They will be out of their element and can show different sides of their personalities to the readers.
It’s also very fun to go together with another writer or writers and put your characters into adventures together. This is a way to promote your own work to a wider audience since the readers will consist of the fans of all the writers.
You can even age your character and look into the future. You can use a time period that you don’t expect your series to get into, to see what the main character will be like in their twilight years.
There are quite a few what-ifs that can be explored this way. These are just a few. I’ll bet you can think of more.
Kaye George ©2016
Kaye George, national-bestselling and multiple-award-winning author, writes several mystery series: Imogene Duckworthy, Cressa Carraway (Barking Rain Press), People of the Wind (Untreed Reads), and, as Janet Cantrell, the Fat Cat cozy mysteries. (Berkley Prime Crime). Her short stories appear in anthologies such as Murder On Wheels, magazines, and her own collection, A Patchwork of Stories. She reviews for Suspense Magazine. She lives in Knoxville, TN. http://kayegeorge.com/