Friday, May 19, 2017

Reasons to Read and Write Short Stories by Tyrean Martinson / Hero Lost Blog Tour




Reasons to Read and Write Short Stories
(In the Wild or At Home)

by Tyrean Martinson

1. Interruptions: I’ve had four in the time that I intended to write this guest post. 

With a short story, we can quickly pick up where we left off and know that we haven’t been interrupted “too long” to enjoy reading or writing them. 

2. Limited Time or In the Wilds (anywhere but at home)

Reading: Short stories fit in limited time spots – on a lunch break or a coffee break, in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store, or anywhere else where we find ourselves “in between” things. 

Writing: The same principle applies with supplies we can easily take with us. Use the talk-to-text feature on a phone to talk a short story into life, type up a hint fiction or flash fiction story in the notes section of a phone, or bring a notebook and a pen wherever you go, and voila – writing space! Write any story that springs to mind or use the surroundings or surrounding people to jumpstart a short story. If we’re at home, a short story can fit into the time that it takes dinner to cook (although I have burned a number of meals this way), or they can even fit inside commercial breaks during a beloved TV show – although I only recommend hint or flash fiction for this super limited time frame.

3. Discovery of New Places

Reading: I’m madly in love with the world of story – anywhere fictional or simply not my regular reality where I can sink in and experience something new. Short stories allow me to plunge in for a short while and come out ready for whatever’s next in the real world.

Writing: I love to write about something new and sometimes something “new” can be explored more easily in the tight confines of a short story. Plus, if I have a shiny, new idea, a short story is a good place to give it a quick run before I commit the idea to a longer space of time and length. In the Wild world outside of home, anything seems possible and this principle applies to discovering new places in new ways (what if a warrior like Xena stopped at the local coffee shop for a cup of joe?). 

4. Discovery of New People

I admit it’s taken me most of my adult life to enjoy meeting new people. It’s still not my best skill set. However, I do like to meet new characters in fiction when I read and I do like to create new characters when I write. If I use my “out and about with short stories” idea, I can find new “characters” to work with pretty easily. I look in other people’s grocery carts or eavesdrop for character ideas – I know this is probably terribly rude, but I’m a writer so I consider it research.

5. Creating a Deep Understanding of Narrative

Reading helps us become better writers. When I read (and re-read) short stories, I am memorizing the story form. It’s true that there are many different styles of writing, but short stories give me an easy way to study these different styles without committing to read a full novel in some forms that I’m not sure I’ll enjoy.

Writing short stories gives me a way to explore new writing concepts and styles. There’s no reason not to finish a crazy dialogue writing exercise from a writing craft book by turning it into a short story that I might, just might, be able to get published somewhere.

After many years, I convinced my mom to read short stories and she is growing to like them. She says, “they’re just enough to give me something to think about.”


Do you read or write short stories?

Daydreamer, writer, teacher, believer – Tyrean Martinson lives near the Puget Sound with her husband and daughters. With her B.A. in Ed. and English, she teaches writing classes to home-school teens and she writes speculative, contemporary, poetry, experimental hint fiction, and writing books.
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Of Words and Swords

In a time of dragons and dragon-slayers, Maud has lost his taste for battle. He wants only to put his swords to rest and follow his life-long dream to become a bard.



Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!


36 comments:

  1. I still haven't dipped my toe into the short story waters. I almost entered the IWSG anthology contest, but I waited too long before starting. Short story writing sounds like something that might be fun once I actually get around to writing one.

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    1. It does take a bit to get into a short story writing groove because it's a different pace from novel writing, but I think it's fun.

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  2. Plot twist--I hardly ever write short stories. It seems every time I try I look at it and think, this should be a novel. I do like reading short stories because they don't take as much time. You can get one in real quick during a busy day.

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    1. You did a great job with your story! (Although, I admit I would love to read more about those characters, too.)

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  3. Hi Chrys and Tyrean - amazing place Puget Sound is ... I'd no idea where it was - so now I've looked and opened my eyes. Fascinating place to look around and presumably to live in ...

    I admire you all who write short stories, let alone the longer ones ... and yes we do learn from all we read - cheers and good luck with the Anthology - Hilary

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    1. It is a great place to live. I used to live at the edge of the foothills surrounding Mt. Rainier (further inland from where I am now) so living here has helped me get in touch with the watery side of Washington. :)

      Thank you!

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  4. Short stories are perfect for readers and writers on the go. Working out an idea as a short story lets you know if there is something more there.

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    1. So true! Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

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  5. Some great thoughts.
    With time being such a precious commodity, it's important that we can turn to short stories, as an opportunity to study different styles without having to commit to reading a full novel.

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    1. I agree! Time is a precious commodity and short stories fit. :)
      I admire your short story work, Michelle!

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  6. Enjoyed this post, Tyrean and Chrys. I'm already a big fan of reading and writing the short - and even shorter - stories. :)

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    1. And I'm a fan of reading your short and shorter stories. :)
      Happy Writing Madeline!

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  7. I love short stories, they're my first love. My favourite short story authors are Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Alice Munro and Daphne du Maurier (though I've never been able to get into her novels). There are several more I've been told I should read, but haven't yet!

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    1. I really like Margaret Atwood's short stories, to. I know I've read some by Alice Munro, but I think I need to go read her work again since I don't remember enough.
      There are some excellent short stories to read in this wide world - and sometimes, they are a great way to dip into diverse cultures.

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  8. Short stories sure are a great way to pump out some tales indeed. And can be read at ease on the go to and fro.

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  9. I've written a few. They're good for writers like me who are really slow. I can feel like I've accomplished something.

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    1. Yes, that's why I like them, too. I can get bits and pieces done of a novel and then turn to a short story and finish it - which is a relief when my novel WIP is moving at a snail's pace.

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  10. I'm not sure weather I could write a short story, But who knows? perhaps one day........

    Yvonne.

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    1. Perhaps! I look forward to reading it.

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  11. I occasionally read short stories—like you said, they're great for lunch breaks.

    I want to write short stories, but I've never actually been able to pull that off. I keep trying, though.

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    1. MJ - all of my first stories were like opening chapters of novels. It took me a while to really be able to choose a small enough plot to share in one story - and even then, I fall in love with some of the characters so much that I want to return to them. Maud hasn't had his last day in the spotlight, that's for sure. He might even have a match-up with another character from another story.

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  12. I'm loving short stories lately simply because when things get busy, I can polish off a short story and be entertained without the frustration of constantly being interrupted.

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    1. Me, too! There's something about the end of the school year that lends itself to short reading and writing, as everything else and everyone else hustles to a finish before summer.

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  13. I've always loved reading short stories and writing them is almost as fun :-) Great post, Tyrean and thanks to Chrys for hosting the Hero Lost blog tour.

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    1. Thanks, Ellen! Reading your short story was fun for me as a reader. :)

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  14. Hi Tyrean, yes I both read and write short stories. You are so right when you say a short story is good to read while out or waiting in the wild...it's less of a commitment than the novel. Famous authors often recommend learning to write short stories before tackling a full on novel. I'm almost finished second go of editing my collection. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how much time I have put into these stories. Just because they're short doesn't mean they're faster to write or fine-tune. Thanks for the share, Chrys!

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  15. Burned a few dinners myself, or let the food get cold before I ate it to finish reading a story. I hate leaving a book or story once I've started it. I enjoy writing novels and short stories, sometimes the shorter the better. LOL Great post, congratulations on the anthology. Can't wait to dig in!

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  16. I love writing short stories and enjoy reading them too.

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  17. I've written a lot of short story first and second drafts. Nothing I'd consider finished.

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  18. Fabulous points, Tyrean. I am trying to write short stories. I'm a bit scared that I'm not doing it right, but that won't stop me. Thanks for this great info, it came at a great time.

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  19. Great reasons to read and write short stories. But I don't think they are any easier to write than a novel because you have to make a complete story in so many less pages. Not that easy to do. Thanks for the tips, Tyrean.

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  20. I like this list, and they're all very good reasons for writing short stories. I must admit that I've struggled with writing short stories because it's hard for me to keep them short.

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  21. I have often written short stories and enjoy the genre (I think Hemingway's and O'Conner's best writing is their short stories)

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  22. #1 is a problem for me sometimes. If I'm in my writing room and not alone in the house, my family will pop in and chat. I could probably write a short story a lot easier in that time because I'd have less people stopping by!

    Elsie Amata

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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