Posts Tagged With: short story

How to Turn a Short Story into a Book Series

Lightbulb Moment

DING! (That’s my lightbulb-moment sound effect.)

Believe it or not, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY started out as a short story.

I was struggling with another novel, so I switched gears and wrote a fun little story about this awkward wannabe sorceress who ends up breaking the evil curse on a bad-boy hero with a muscle car.

It was half scary, half funny, and people seemed to really get a kick out of it. They kept asking me what happens next.

And I had to say, “There is no next. This is it.”

But I really got hooked on writing these characters, so I expanded it into a novella. My critique group was extraordinarily supportive. I kept bringing them new pages of rough draft as I wrote it, and we tossed all sorts of crazy ideas around.

I just kept expanding the story until it became a novel. The day I finished it, I called my wife to tell her, and she asked, “How does it end?”

And I said, “Guess.”

She said, “You know what would be really cool?” And she sketched out a completely different ending from the one I had just written.

Not just different. It was better, and ultimately it meant expanding the book into a series.

So with a sigh, I went back and changed the ending. And at that moment, everything clicked. I had the feeling that I was really onto something.

This ended up being the first book I’ve ever written that received offers from multiple publishers. My literary agent, Kristin Nelson, sold it in a multi-book deal.

I’ve already written Book 2, which should come out in the summer of 2017, and I have more stories on the way. Get free previews and short stories when you subscribe to my free author newsletter. >

Categories: It Happened One Doomsday | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

And now, the first Sci Fi Bookshelf Short Story Contest!

Want to show off your writing skills?  Have you written a science fiction story that’s so shiny you have to wear Ray Bans?  How would you like to see millions of people read your story online?

Okay, maybe not millions, but you get the idea.  I’m officially kicking off the first-ever Sci Fi Bookshelf Short Story Contest.  Send me your story, whether science fiction, fantasy, horror or somewhere in between, up to 2,500 words, and find out how your writing skills stack up against the competition.  The deadline is the end of the year — literally at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  I’ll publish the winner online in January, right here on Sci Fi Bookshelf, where you’ve seen science fiction and fantasy giants like Joe Haldeman, David Weber and Kat Richardson.

There’s no cash prize, but no entry fee either.  I look at it as an even trade: Sci Fi Bookshelf fans (like yourself) get a little free online reading, and you get to showcase your storytelling — everybody wins!

| Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.