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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Short story before novel

   
Author Topic: Short story before novel
WouldBe
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What is the wisdom about publishing a short story that one plans to rewrite in novel length? In this case, it's for the YA market. Downsides? Upsides? Thank you.
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LDWriter2
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I'm not sure. I do know that there are a number of novels that started as short stories. So in those cases the story came out first.

It could attract interest once readers realize the new novel came from the story they read. I would think that even in the YA market if someone liked the story he would want the full novel when they see it later.

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C@R3Y
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I say just go for it. If you thoroughly enjoyed the short story, and you yourself would want to see more of it, perhaps it being expanded, then I just say go for novel length. If it's good enough to be published, also, by a magazine, than odds are you have got yourself something good. So do something more with it.

Personally, I would do it for myself, if I really enjoyed the short story I wrote. It depends I think on the type of story and how many ways you can take it.

One of the first things you should ask yourself is "do I (or) can I have enough in this story to make it novel length?" like characters, situations, conflict, etc...

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Meredith
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Generally, it shouldn't be a problem. You just need to make sure that you retain the relevant rights to the expanded story.

The problem that I do see is that the story is YA. There just isn't a huge market for YA short stories IME.

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MartinV
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I'm in the middle of turning a 20k story into an 80k novel. I'm simply adding more minor events, characters, subplots, all designed to enrich and put emphasis on the main plot which hasn't changed one bit.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by WouldBe:
What is the wisdom about publishing a short story that one plans to rewrite in novel length? In this case, it's for the YA market. Downsides? Upsides? Thank you.

Have you ever heard of a short story with the title "Ender's Game"?

Two things to consider, by the way.

First, don't make your short story the equivalent of the first chapter of a novel (the kind of short story that ends with the POV realizing "what is really going on here" without going on to show how the POV deals with that--hence the first chapter of a novel and not a true short story).

Second, make sure that as you expand the short story into a novel, that you do it by adding complications and sub-plots and interesting minor characters and so on, and not by just "packing" it with filler and fluff.

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WouldBe
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Thanks for the advice. I waver about whether the story would help or hurt sale of a later novel. I also wonder if publishing the short story in a non-pro market is more of a hinder.

My chihuahua helped with this post: Q8UOLLL

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Rhaythe
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This is something I've considered myself, though I can't imagine agents getting particularly enthused about a short story versus potential novels. My guess is they would prefer you devote the time/resources/plot-ideas to fully-formed works that they can sell.

That said, if you're self-pubbing, it'd make great teaser material.

Some established authors have done this, though. Jonathan Maberry, James Rollins, and Tess Gerritson come to mind as recent examples. Though all of those shorts were to supplement soon-to-come full-fledged works.

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WouldBe
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Thanks, Kathleen. I've plotted out and mostly written a full plot for the short story. As you suggested, I plan on more plot points, and perhaps taking the story in a different direction for the novel-length story with additional characters.
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extrinsic
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I believe a short story tests audience appeal, for a writer as well as an emerging franchise. If a short story flies, a novel segue could too.
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Brendan
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quote:
Have you ever heard of a short story with the title "Ender's Game"?

And "Flowers for Algernon"
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