Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Write Short Stories? A Guest Post by Richard Salter.


If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm completely obsessed with both Science Fiction and Fantasy. Put a book in my hands that takes me to another world? You have me forever. I'm that much of a nerd. So of course I am ecstatic to welcome today's guest!


This is Richard Salter! Contributing author to, and editor of, World's Collider. An anthology filled with death, destruction, and the terrible nightmarish creatures that bring about both. Can I please say that I've been drooling over this book ever since I first set eyes on it? I'll let you decide for yourself though.

The Collision is the worst disaster in human history. So far…

In the near future, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider causes an enormous explosion, known as the Collision. The blast flattens a huge chunk of central Europe and punches a massive hole in the Earth’s surface. Over the next decade, unspeakable horrors pour from the rift: vicious creatures with a taste for human flesh, a terrible scream that drives all who hear it insane, a phantom entity that feeds on fear and paranoia, and a nightmare train from the pits of hell, to name but a few. This onslaught of terror causes the collapse of civilization and threatens to wipe humanity from the planet.

World’s Collider is a unique concept in short fiction, where all eighteen original stories are part of a common narrative, recounting the disaster and its aftermath. A true novel by many voices, including Steven Savile, James Moran, Aaron Rosenberg, Trent Zelazny, Jonathan Green, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Kelly Hale, Richard Wright and a host of new talent.

Fifty million people died in the Collision. They were the lucky ones…
Sounds amazing, am I right? Lucky for us, Richard was kind enough to grace us with a guest post today, so I'll let him have the floor! Read on to the bottom, he's also brought along a surprise!

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Why write short stories?

Ask any writer if there’s money to be made from short stories and they will likely laugh at you. Novels are the way to make a living from your craft. The amount of money I’ve earned from my short story sales has ranged from the cost of a pizza to the cost of an iPod.

So why do it? Why not channel your efforts into creating a world, a set of characters and an intriguing premise for the sake of a novel? Why waste good ideas on a much shorter tale that won’t make you much money and likely won’t be read by as many people.

Well firstly they can be fun to write. Maybe the idea you’ve had is struggling to stretch to novel length. Maybe your central idea is too cluttered in an attempt to stretch it out. The idea might make an effective short story. It’s a great way to hone your craft. Short stories force writers to get to the point or run out of words, and they allow a single idea to shine without the need for subplots or extraneous characters. Many successful novelists will sometimes crank out a short story, just for a change of pace or to keep creative juices flowing while researching their next novel.

For the new writer, short stories are a very effective way to raise your profile and get your work in front of readers. In Solaris Rising, I shared cover space with Steven Baxter and Alastair Reynolds. People who bought the anthology just for them might well have read my story too. If they liked it, they might seek out more of my work. It all helps, and it adds real sales to the resume when approaching agents.

Writing effective short stories is not easy and it won’t make your fortune, but it can be lucrative both creatively and in establishing a positive reputation as a writer to watch.

Thanks to Jessica for giving me this space to ramble, and for allowing me to announce that an anthology I edited, World’s Collider, is free to download for two days starting now! This is a unique collection with eighteen original stories by great writers that combine into a unified storyline. This mosaic novel charts a terrible accident at the LHC and the horrors that invade our world in the years that follow. Enjoy!

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For two days only you can get your own copy of World's Collider absolutely free! Tuesday 11/27 and Wednesday 11/28, Richard Salter is sharing his book with you. So go claim your copy and get reading! The links are below and, as always, don't forget to leave some comment love for our guest.


Richard Salter lives near Toronto, Canada. He is the writer of over twenty published short stories and the editor of two short story anthologies, including World’s Collider – a Shared-World Anthology. He is currently shopping his debut novel to publishers and has upcoming stories in Nightcapes vol 1 from Nightscape Press and the highly anticipated Machine of Death 2. You can find out more at http://www.richardsalter.com



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