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The Perks of a Short Story

By C.V. Lee
October 25, 2022

Time for true confessions. Until I got well into writing my first novel, I was never a fan of short stories. Although I read many while in school, the only one I even recalled reading was ‘The Lady or the Tiger?’ And I probably only remember it because of the ending.

In fact, I go beyond just enjoying a good novel. I l prefer a series. I enjoy sitting down and joining my favorite characters on their many varied adventures. Looking back, I have been a fan of a series for a long time. As a child I read all the Little House on the Prairie books, all the Black Stallion books, all the Nancy Drew books. Well, you get the picture. I guess that is why when I began writing my first novel; I knew I would write a series.

But as I moved toward making a profession out of my writing, I have learned to appreciate the short story. However, until recently, I had never tried my hand at writing one. Oh, I have written essays and reports for school, but that doesn’t really qualify as a short story. So my story, JOANNA’S CHOICE, is my first foray into this new arena. Thankfully, I had several people that were much better versed in the art to critique my work along the way.

There are a few perks to a short story:

  1. I like to read every day, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to devote to a novel. That is when a short story satisfies that need to read part of me.
  2. A book of short stories is good to have available for house guests who forgot to bring their own reading along. They may want to find something on your shelf to read but not get so involved they need to ask if you will loan them your book.
  3. Not everyone likes to read novels. That’s when an anthology comes in as a splendid gift for your more casual reader.
  4. But my favorite, and why I will be writing more short stories in the future, is the ability to explore the lives and backstories of the secondary characters in my novels.

Have you read a novel where you were intrigued by some of the lesser characters and wanted to know more about them? That is how I feel about a few of mine, especially the fictional women in my series.

Before the Paper Lantern Writers even began discussing putting together the UNLOCKED anthology, I had already determined that I wanted to tell these women’s stories in a separate work. JOANNA’S CHOICE is the first of these short stories and novellas. The reader gets us a deeper look into her life that is only hinted at in my novels.

That is how I became a convert. Not that I have given up reading a good series, and anxiously wait with everyone else for the next book. But now I am just as inclined to sit down and enjoy a short that I can finish in one sitting.

If you have perks of your own, I would love to hear them in the comments.

C.V. Lee

Written by C.V. Lee

C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.

View CV’s PLW Profile

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