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How should I write


Important question. So I am writing a long series and I was trying to decide whether I should do a full legnth novel series or if I should only make episodic and short stories.
Which do you enjoy more? Both in terms of reading and in terms of writing? Write that.

Writing episodic is very different (if you want to do it well) than writing novel length works, even if both come out at the same length in the end. The main difference is that when writing episodic, you will more want to go for a string of short stories compared to chapters in a novel. The episodic shorts don't have to stand on their own of course, but it's a lot more important that you have a clear beginning, middle and end to an episode. Otherwise you're simply writing a novel you're chopping up in pieces.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
It depends.

If you want to publish, shorts don't sell. It's my understanding that some indie authors do okay with ebook novellas of about 60k. You've got to be able to keep churning them out quickly though. But if you're looking for a traditional publisher, your best bet would be to offer them the standard 80-100k word novel that mostly stands alone but has sequel potential if it does well. But the best you could hope for with a short is getting published in a magazine - you might get a few hundred for one short, which isn't bad, but even talented people are lucky to sell two or three in a year. And it's the worst possible time for a newcomer to break into shorts because those magazines are turning to invite-only as they're overrun with AI submissions.

If you're looking to learn and improve your skills, shorts are a great starting point, if you find that you have an interest. (If you've no interest in writing shorts, then don't, as forcing yourself to write something you don't want to is a bad idea early on.) Shorts can help you focus in on the things you want to write, or the things you want to improve. It also gives you that thrill of finishing something, and a completed item to hand to beta readers when seeking feedback. It can also be a great way to develop characters or explore some ideas for a longer project later on.

And as others have said, if you're just writing to scratch the creative itch, then do what you want.

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Our Books of Binding is a long-running series, and we're doing both. Numbered, novel-length stories for the main metaplot and all of the important book plotlines and subplots. Shorts, both stories and flashes, to fill in the corners and spaces in between.

But it really depends on you and the story you want to tell.

Mad Swede

I write both novels and short stories. I use the short story format to develop ideas and to fill out those background incidents which aren't quite enough to develop into a novel.

If you're hoping for a traditional publishing contract then it does help if you've had a few short stories published in magazines. Contrary to anything you may have heard all the major magazines are open for submissions - but the competition is intense, so only submit your best work and be prepared to be rejected.