When I wrote my first short story (in over a decade) back in 2007, I had my basic plot figured out, but really didn’t have a clue about characterisation and point of view. I remember when I had the first draft finished, I sent it to my beta readers and they wrote back utterly confused. It wasn’t clear which character’s thoughts were being shown, as I kept flitting between both with no discernible section breaks. After many revisions (and reading character and viewpoint), the story was eventually published in 2009 in Blood Moon Rising issue 39. Read it here

I really think short stories are so important to a writer for several reasons. If you want to write something of novel length, you can explore characters, POV, and iron out other writing issues in a smaller version first. Even better if you can get your short story published, as this shows you have a style that will sell, and builds your CV for a potential agent or publisher down the line. This is just my opinion, but I don’t think too many agents will take a chance on an unknown writer if they don’t have any credentials to their name – which is why I’ve been submitting my short stories to ezines and print magazines. It’s most important to write short stories for enjoyment, of course, but building up a track record and working out your style and story ideas in a more manageable size really helps too.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/75c5a1ad6956/leilanie-stewart-author-info

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