Short story to Novel

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  1. #1

    Short story to Novel

    I have written several short stories not for publication. I like what I write and share my stories free.
    These stories ae 9 to 10 pages. If I try to expand the pages, the stories become boring. How can I make
    a short story into an interesting novel?

  2. #2
    I don't know that you'd wanna do that.
    When I write a short story, the entire arc of the story is designed for a short story, not a book.
    When I write a book, the story is told, right from the start, in an entirely different flow than a short story.

    But in answer to your question, I would start by inflating the characters, taking more time to focus on them as I introduced each. Take the time to illustrate them fully, maybe even give each character a chapter of their own.

    Always start with your characters.

  3. #3
    I've turned one short story into a novel. The original short was a single dramatic moment in a couple's life, and clearly they had a part before that moment and a future after it, so the novel expanded to cover those elements.

    I think it's important to add depth as well as length to your writing. In the short, I expected readers to more-or-less accept the characters as they were. No room for explorations or subplots or backstory. In the novel, I got to add all that stuff. It was fun.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Star View Post
    I have written several short stories not for publication. I like what I write and share my stories free.
    These stories ae 9 to 10 pages. If I try to expand the pages, the stories become boring. How can I make
    a short story into an interesting novel?
    Small events make for good short stories. Large event make good novels. The reason it becomes boring is because the event just isn't large enough.

    You can incorporate that small event into a larger one, or write about the same characters in a larger event.

  5. #5
    It can work. When I first write my drafts, they need to start out short. They might be a little longer than short stories, but if you can fit relevant sub plots, characters, and other content, you can turn short stories into novels.

  6. #6
    Small events make for good short stories. Large event make good novels. The reason it becomes boring is because the event just isn't large enough.
    Great advice, Jack! That reminds of my inbox - sometimes it's just not large enough for all the pm's I get.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  7. #7
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    It's gotten kind'a quiet in here today, so I might as well make myself semi-useful ( maybe? ) and comment on this one:

    Yes, a short story can be expanded into a full novel, or possibly even several of 'em, depending on the story and premise.

    You can do it using Bayview's example of just "widening the view" and adding things on either side of the original story... things that came before, or the stuff that follows afterward.

    That works pretty well with people and their lives, and even concepts where someone else picks up and continues with a thing that someone else started, then once reaching their own limit, dropped.

    ...not so much with storied that come to complete and final conclusion though, like the world or an entire civilization coming to an end. You're pretty much stuck with prequels there, or starting an entire other story in the place that one concluded, at best.

    You can also do what I've done once so far, and take another character from a story, and veer off down a side path, and follow whatever they're doing that diverges from the story the reader first met them in, letting the main group from that original tale go on about their merry way. And you always have the possibility of those stories crossing again at some point.

    And then there's the one I probably like least; "Stretching" the short story out by moving events further away from each other and adding "stuff" in between.

    What gets you into trouble there is cause and effect; some events just require others in close proximity to work. You can't have someone turn around too fast, then a week later have the glass they smacked into accidentally in the turn hit the floor. At least not without some major time dilatation event.

    Then again, even that can work if you set your mind to it, and plot and plan carefully enough. All things are possible, after all, even those that are highly unlikely under most circumstances.

    And too, even the smallest, most simple and insignificant events can have a cascade effect, and lead to something much larger and more complicated. It just all depends on how well you understand and are willing to apply the "Butterfly Effect".


    Anyway, as Mr. Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that.

    ...for now.



    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; November 12th, 2018 at 01:35 AM. Reason: Typos
    Let me be painfully clear: I do not know what the hell I'm doing with this writing thing.
    And if I suddenly start acting like I do, would somebody please punch me in the head?
    Thanks.
    G.D.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."

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