Short stories


I’m a little conflicted as to whether publishing credits really matter when it comes to querying a debut novel. I’ve read blogs that say it matters, and I’ve read blogs that say it doesn’t.

I’ve had two short stories published, but neither in the genre I’m writing now. Of course I complicated things by writing another off-genre story this past weekend. At least this time it was YA, which is closer to the mark, genre-wise (my WIP is middle grade).

Anyhow, this short story has been instructive to me. It’s written, I think it’s good – but it probably could do with some additional polish. And it’s just sitting here on my computer. I own a Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, and yet I haven’t created a list of publications to send it to. Sure, things have been busy – but I am reminded of the cheesy Successories poster: you will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

I wonder how many completed novels languish forever on computers without being queried?

Time to give’r, as they say here in the East.

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8 thoughts on “Short stories

  1. I think it helps but I don’t think it’s as large a barrier with genre fiction, MG, and YA as it is with literary fiction. Just speculating. I’ve currently got fulls out with two agents and my query letter has nothing in the way of prior publishing credits (since my one credit is a short story the Telegraph Journal ran in 1996 as part of a series on teen writing — not exactly wowing).

    • Hi there! Thanks for your comment. Well, all I know for sure is that this journey can be a long one. What sort of things are you writing?

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. As far as what I am writing, it is really all over the place. I write almost anything that comes to mind. Currenlty I have two stories posted on the website. One is centered around couple who finds there love has gone sour. The other centers around the death of World War II vet – loosely based on an Uncle I never met. If you get the time I would love to hear your comments – postive or negative – on the stories.

    Again,
    Thanks

    http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

    • Hi there – I visited your site and read your blind date story. I liked the premise and the twist at the end. I figured it out before I finished it, but not too far in advance! I do think the story would be more memorable if your approach was less expository. As it stands, it almost reads like a diary entry, but it doesn’t become clear whose diary it is until we get close to the end. Anyhow, more showing and less telling would give you the ability to build more detail into your characters and to make the language more active. Right now that liveliness is just bubbling under the surface – I could hear it in some of the great turns of phrase: “a choosing of sides” was my fave.
      Anyhow, those are my two cents – feel free to disregard at will!

      • I certainly appreciate the time you took out of your busy schedule to read my stories. All your points are well taken and I do not take them lightly. I save them, study them, and take all I can get from them. In other words, your two cents are worth a fortune to me, much better than the complimentary “I thought it was good” replies I often get.

        Again, thank you so much for just taking the time. It means a lot.

        http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

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