Anna, I’ve had a squiz at your online course, and it looks fantastic!
Thanks, Mel! I love sharing the tips and techniques I've learned as a reader and writer of short stories. If I can help some other writers avoid some of the mistakes I've made, then it's worth it.
What are your key goals with this course?
There is plenty packed into Short Story, Big Impact. Here are the objectives of the course:
Learn how to structure short stories
Learn the key elements to writing short stories
Discover tips and techniques to include (and what to limit) in your short stories
See examples of winning short story techniques from successful authors
Learn how short stories can help craft full length stories
What seems to be the biggest mistake writer’s make when attempting a short story?
Packing too much into the story — too many characters, too many sub-plots, too many explanations, too many words. If a novel is a cake, the short story is a slice of it. You need to focus in on a single incident, single relationship or single moment. There's no room for lots of plot, shorts tend to be character-driven stories and focused on a particular intense moment or incident.
As an author of multiple 'bites' stories, what do you think makes short stories, and in particular, paranormal short stories so popular?
Excellent question, Mel! I think readers pick up short stories because they're the perfect length to fit into a busy lifestyle. In between work and family, many people don’t have the time or energy to immerse themselves in the complex worlds of longer stories. Instead, they want a quick fix.
Short stories are about INTENSITY. A lot happens in a very short time and we get to the good stuff straight away. When I pick up a short story I want: a quick read, not too complicated and a quick hit of emotion (whether it's love, shock, horror or excitement). I think paranormal stories in particular deliver this with a bang -- life and death situations, danger, action — the paranormal aspect amps up the intensity of an already intense short story.
Anna, thanks for the chat! Last but not least, what is next for you?
In October I'll be busy teaching Short Story, Big Impact at the RWA Online Chapter. I'll also be teaching it again online in February at the Colorado Romance Writers.
On the writing front, I have a new Bites coming soon (no set date yet) called One Night with the Wolf — it features a duty-bound female alpha who wants one night of passion with a wolf in his prime...and she knows just the wolf she wants.
Thanks for chatting with me, Mel!
For more information on Anna’s course, go to: http://www.rwaonlinechapter.org/campus.htm