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Old 06-21-2012, 07:35 AM   #1
kennyc
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Nice piece on Short Fiction Writing from Dean Wesley Smith

Quote:
Making a Living with Your Short Fiction
Posted on June 18, 2012 by dwsmith

Way back, over two years ago now, I did a post in my Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing series called “Myth: You Can’t Make Money Writing Fiction.” You can find that article either in any electronic bookstore or for free here. If you are having trouble with thinking about making money with your fiction, that post might be worth the read even though I wrote it two plus years ago. Especially those of you thinking of staying almost 100% traditional publishing.

But in this post, I want to go after a saying that used to be almost 100% true before three years ago. “You can’t make a living writing only short fiction.”

Not so true anymore.

...
http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=7143
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Hmmm, guess I'jm the only short fiction writer here.

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Old 06-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
Steven Lake
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I do short fiction too, but not all that often anymore, mostly because people don't seem interested in short fiction as much these days.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
RobertLCollins
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I write short fiction, too. I'm offering the previously published works as ebooks. I've said before elsewhere, I think readers aren't yet used to getting short fiction on its own. They've been getting it from magazines and anthologies. Perhaps in time they'll figure out they can also get short stories on their own, outside of any other publication.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:42 AM   #5
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I can certainly see why there should be a growing market for short fiction, it seems an ideal medium for mobile phone readers and readers with a hectic live style.

I used to read a lot of short fiction when I was younger, especially when I was an avid fan of science-fiction; so much sci-fi, back then anyway, was really about a single idea and short fiction was the ideal way to carry it. Too many tried to write novels based on that single idea, a longer work needs more to it, and I suspect that's why I slowly moved over to mainly fantasy - the longer the better. (This isn't some sort of criticism of current sci-fi, I really don't read enough of it to judge.)

I still sometimes read collections of short fiction, but mainly as time fillers, and I generally come away feeling unsatisfied. There are exceptions, but I find it's rare that writers get it exactly right. Really good short fiction is, I think, a very special talent; it's not just that story is short, but that it really is a complete and perfectly expressed idea; it seems to me that there is even more pressure on every single word to be exactly right. (Okay, so I haven't described that well, I'm no good at short ).

I have written some short "historical" stories behind my current fantasy project, but they would be mostly meaningless without the context of the larger work to support them. If I ever get around to publishing, they are the sort of thing I might consider cleaning up to put on the website for "fans" - if I ever get any.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
I do short fiction too, but not all that often anymore, mostly because people don't seem interested in short fiction as much these days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertLCollins View Post
I write short fiction, too. I'm offering the previously published works as ebooks. I've said before elsewhere, I think readers aren't yet used to getting short fiction on its own. They've been getting it from magazines and anthologies. Perhaps in time they'll figure out they can also get short stories on their own, outside of any other publication.
Yep, it's definitely not seeming to be a place to make money, but still it is my favorite form (well other than poetry )

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I can certainly see why there should be a growing market for short fiction, it seems an ideal medium for mobile phone readers and readers with a hectic live style.

I used to read a lot of short fiction when I was younger, especially when I was an avid fan of science-fiction; so much sci-fi, back then anyway, was really about a single idea and short fiction was the ideal way to carry it. Too many tried to write novels based on that single idea, a longer work needs more to it, and I suspect that's why I slowly moved over to mainly fantasy - the longer the better. ....
I still sometimes read collections of short fiction, but mainly as time fillers, and I generally come away feeling unsatisfied. .....
I read most of my short fiction from anthologies as well.. The Best of ... Pen/O Henry etc. as well as various collections (often intended for literature classes I presume) such as the Norton Anthologies (short stories, SF, etc.)

Very few novels leave me feeling like (as Emily says) the top of my head just blew off! but many short stories do -- both SF/Mainstream/literary.

Thanks for chiming in guys!
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
teh603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
I do short fiction too, but not all that often anymore, mostly because people don't seem interested in short fiction as much these days.
I've done short fiction, but the only one I've got with any decent number of downloads is one I put up for free. So it would seem that there's truth in what you've said about people not wanting short fiction. Dad comments a lot about how he sees kids at work (mainly girls) carrying these huge tomes.

Some of the demise of short fiction might be the fact that magazines just don't have room for it anymore. Dragon magazine (the one formerly published by TSR and Wizards of the Coast) used to have a good piece of short fantasy or sci-fi every month. That space now goes to advertising instead of imagination-fueling fiction.

Last edited by teh603; 06-24-2012 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
I've done short fiction, but the only one I've got with any decent number of downloads is one I put up for free. So it would seem that there's truth in what you've said about people not wanting short fiction.
I think they want it, they just don't value it enough to pay for it. When you can get a full length book for $0.99 it's not really surprising. I like writing short stories, they don't take as long so you're more likely to finish it. If you end up liking the characters you can always spin them off into something longer later if you don't kill them. But short stories are only ever going to be advertising for your other stuff, and for that to be any use they need to be free.
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