Short Stories & Novellas

Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” That pithy statement describes well a major challenge facing the writer of short stories.

A novelist has the luxury of tens of thousands of words in which to fully flesh out a story. Short story writers don’t have that luxury—they must make every word count, and they must choose a single story to tell, with little room for side plots. The focus must be razor sharp, and every detail must relate to the one story the author has chosen to tell. The essence of each character must be distilled, so that the story contains just enough information for readers to understand and fully grasp the meaning of the story.

The best short story writers and editors are those who understand the art of brevity and of knowing just where a story begins and ends. A skilled short story editor will point out material that isn’t necessary to tell the story and help the author refine the work so that no words are wasted and everything that is required for readers to get the full impact of the story is in its proper place.

Suggested resources:

Structure Style and Truth: Elements of theShort Story, by John Daniel

Creating the Story: Guides for Writers,by Rebecca Rule and Susan Wheeler

Floyd Largent

Floyd Largent

During my 35+ years in the literary world, I've built experience in many aspects of the field---from non-fiction to fiction, short stories to novels, game creation to publication tips. My first love as a fiction editor has always been science fiction/fantasy and related genres. In addition to many SF/F novels for adults, I've also had the pleasure of working on a number of fun and imaginative Young Adult works, mostly fantasy, and always welcome the opportunity to assist writers with such stories. In addition, I've also edited several imaginative mystery series, as well as the occasional romance and mainstream work. My greatest strengths lie in manuscript evaluation and developmental editing, especially for works in which science, characterization, mystery, and unusual cultures play an important part.

My education also informs my work as a non-fiction editor. In that realm I specialize in anthropology, history, science, spirituality (including religious and New Age), and memoirs, with an eye on how the topics in these works affect both individuals and societies.

Kelly Lynne

Kelly Lynne

Paranormal Romance, Westerns, Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Psychic, Supernatural Phenomena

Kelly Lynne is the proud "auntie" to over 150 published novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold to Kensington Publishing, Carina Press, Cerridwen Press, Awe-Struck Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Wings ePress, Bradley Publishing, Damnation Books, and The Wild Rose Press as well as author self-published titles. These books have gone on to earn high praise from reviewers and readers, as well as multiple awards and contest wins. As an editor for The Wild Rose Press, she edited contemporary western and light paranormal romances, with heat ratings from sweet to spicy. Outside of romance, her fiction fortes include sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.

Empathic about the "feel" of a story, Kelly provides suggestions so that authors may revise with their own style in mind, preserving the individual voice, while alerting authors to current trends in publishable styles. Developmental fiction editing requires an emotional investment in the work—an investment of time and effort that Kelly is happy to make.

Kelly has published over 100 non-fiction articles, four short stories, and two novels. She knows the hoops authors are expected to jump through and helps authors polish their submission packets. Query letters, synopses and professional quality formatting are as important as a well-polished manuscript.