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. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. 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 ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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