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Friday, March 16, 2012

GUEST BLOG: LISA SCOTT



This stop is part of the Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.


5 Reasons You Should Try Short Stories


I think you need to read a short story. Today. Or this weekend, at least. Okay, since I write romantic short story collections, I’ll admit this is like showing up at my daughter’s job interview and telling the boss to hire her. (She’s only eight. I won’t be humiliating her like that anytime soon.) But I don’t know many people who do read short stories, and with the explosion of ebooks and ereaders, I think it’s a great time for this genre to make a comeback. So here are five reasons you should think about picking up a few short stories—even if you’re convinced they’re not for you.

1) They’re perfect for lunch or your kids’ practices. I’ve sat through many Tae Kwon Do practices that could have been made much enjoyable with a short story on standby. Technically, short stories are 1,000-7,500 words in length, so they can easily be read in one sitting. (Anything shorter than that is flash fiction. Stories over 7500 words and up to 20,000 words are called novelettes, which sound like fancy little desserts, so I just call mine short stories, even though mine are around 10,000 words. Novellas are 20,000-50,000 words.) I’ve heard from lots of readers who save my stories to enjoy during lunch, a little something to look forward to during the workday. So instead of having to put down a novel at a crucial moment, you can get the satisfaction of an entire story arc in one sitting. Think of it as a satisfying lunchtime quickie.

2) You get to know a lot of characters. My short story collections have five stories in each collection, so you’ll meet lots of different couples in interesting situations. If I’ve done my job, you’re going to feel like you really got to know and care about these folks. As a reader, I love learning about new characters and places, and a few short stories a week will fill that desire, whether from a collection, or a bunch of individual shorts.

3) It’s a great way to try out a new genre. I’m not a big sci-fi reader, but I recently picked up a short story with an interesting premise that’s getting a lot of buzz online. I’m still thinking about that story a week later. Would I have read it if it had been a novel? Probably not. Too big of a commitment in my crazy busy world. But this short story was the perfect way to pass an hour, and now I have to rethink my stance on “not liking sci-fi.”

4) Okay, maybe #4 should be #3b, but short stories are also perfect for finding new authors. More authors are self-publishing shorter pieces like novellas and short stories in addition to their novels. (It’s a great way for authors to release something new in between their longer works.) Shorter stories can help you discover if you like the author’s style and voice without spending too much time and money. Short story anthologies featuring different writers are fantastic for discovering new authors. I’m seeing more and more of these come out every day in all different genres.

5) Just because it’s a short story, doesn’t mean it’s not a complete story. I think this is the biggest reason people are reluctant to try short stories; like it’s going to be as fulfilling as one bacon wrapped scallop on a toothpick when you really want the stuffed haddock with the rice pilaf. I’ll let some of my reviews speak to this. From L. Miller on Amazon, for my novella Spouse Hunting: “Shorter stories are tough. You have to set up the story, characters, scene--everything in an economical fashion without looking rushed. You have to leave the reader feeling it was long enough to get the stories within the story spelled out. Some can't do in 200 pages what this writer managed to do in 70 pages.” From B.L. Rice Reading Junkie on Amazon for my collection Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories: “I really do not like this genre much, but I couldn't help that the reviews were so positive. So, I took a chance and got it. I love it! The stories are quick and sweet.” From TDN “ABookAday” on Amazon for my short story “The Hot Girl’s Friend” (from Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories) “Lisa Scott has a wonderful ability to use such few words and immediately sink her reader into the story and the characters better than some authors who have an entire novel to work with!” And nope, these weren’t relatives or reviewers bribed with chocolate. Short stories really can be fun, fulfilling, and totally worth your time.

So even if you’ve never tried a short story, and you’re convinced it’s not for you, give it a shot. Get yourself to your favorite ebook site and start browsing. You’re sure to find one in your favorite genre, or maybe you can try something new. This could be the start a beautiful relationship between you and short fiction. A secret lover on the side whenever you need a little love. Your novels never need to know.

About the Author:
Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories instead of sticking to the facts. The first book in her Willowdale Romance series will be released by Belle Bridge books in November 2012. In the meantime, she'll be releasing short stories linked to the Willowdale series, in addition to her Flirts! collections.

When not begging her husband and two kids for a few minutes of peace to write her stories, she works as a voice actor and putters around in her koi pond and garden in upstate NY.

Find the author online at:

http://readlisascott.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Read-Lisa-Scott/227457993948941
http://twitter.com/#!/ReadLisaScott

Every volume of the Flirts! Collection features five sweet, funny romantic short stories, linked by a loose thread. It all ties up in a fab, fun ending, bringing together characters from all the stories in that collection. Each short story is 8,000-12,000 words long--the perfect length to squeeze in during your lunch break or kids' practices. Sometimes you need a little love!
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12 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Lisa today.

MomJane said...

I hadn't thought about taking short stories with me when I had to eat lunch alone. What a great idea.
Your stories sound fun. I am going to try them.

Lisa Scott said...

Thanks for hosting me today! And thanks Momjane. If you do try one of the collections, let me know what you think!

marybelle said...

This has been an amazing tour thank you. I would not have met you otherwise. Got to love that.

Cheers!!

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Linda Swift said...

Hi Lisa, I agree with everything you said about short stories. As an author of suspense short stories myself, and avid reader of them, I'm happpy they are beginnig to get the attention they deserve. In our wham, bam, thank you ma'am world, they are a good fit!

Lisa Scott said...

Thanks for posting on so many of the stops, Marybelle. It's been a lot of fun. This is my last stop. Kind of sad it's over.

Hi Linda! I'm hoping the US market becomes more receptive to short stories. I think they're bigger in the UK. I sell a lot in the UK itunes store, but I believe they have far more magazines featuring short fiction over there. I love writing them because I'm constantly coming up with new ideas for stories, and they really fill that need for me to create something new!

Janel said...

I have been a fan of short stories for a long time. They're perfect to fit into a busy life. Now that I am writing short stories, I hope the market for them pick up too! People just need to give them a try.

Lisa Scott said...

Hi Janel! I think one of the problems is that short stories haven't been as readily available as longer fiction. So many women's magazines that used to carry short stories don't anymore. I can't think of any traditional publishers that would put out a collection of romantic shorts from a single author right now. I'm so glad indie publishing is an option for me. I price my collections at 2.99 and like to imagine someone enjoying one a day during lunch for a week--all for less than the cost of a coffee. Let's hope more people start giving them a try! They're fun to write, aren't they? You can get right to the heart of the story, I think.

Catherine Lee said...

OH...I love short stories...in all genres. John Updike and Ernest Hemingway are 2 of the greatest American short story writers. Of course, I don't know if I'd read your short stories while waiting for my kids at practice (if I had kids). I prefer to read passionate stories in private...where I can engage in heavy panting and fanning, if needed.

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Lisa Scott said...

No worries, Catherine! Mine are actually more sassy, sweet and funny than passionate. :)

Barbara E. said...

I do like short stories. I've been reading anthologies for years and besides enjoying some great stories, I've discovered some great new authors that way.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Debby said...

I love short stories. I have found some great authors that way.
debby236 at gmail dot com