Author interview: R.M. Prioleau

How did you become interested in short stories?
For me, I wanted to practice writing shorter, self-contained stories, so I looked into and researched the concepts that it takes to write an effective story in so few words. I've since fallen in love with this seemingly 'new' way of thinking when it comes to writing, and I am working on producing my own collection of short stories very soon. I am currently in the process of releasing a novella in the spring 2011, and afterwards, I will look at releasing more shorter, self-contained works.

As an author, do you think writing short stories is worthwhile?  Why?
Because I'm new to the game, I can't really say that for certain at this time. I think any form of writing can be a worthwhile endeavor if it's done right. Telling a good short story can be just as powerful as telling a good novel-sized story. What I like about shorter stories is that you can produce many of them in a shorter period of time. I think if you have a story to tell and it's not quite novel-sized, then tell it anyway and share it with the world.

What types of short story promotion have worked for you?
For my novella, I've been trying to be as viral as possible on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, word of mouth and getting involved in writing communities are just some of the many ways I've been trying to get the awareness of my novella out.

What types of short story promotion have not worked for you?
It's too early for me to say what has and hasn't worked so far since the book isn't out yet. I am not the type that will go around spamming random places with my book info. I do what I can when and where it's appropriate and hopefully get some exposure and awareness that way. I suppose it may not always be effective, but at least the information is out there in case anyone gets curious.

Do you consider 99 cents to be a fair price for a standalone short story?  Why or why not?
I think 99 cents is an excellent, impulse-buying price. It's been said in many writing communities that 99 cents is less than a cup of coffee and a movie. We pay so much for entertainment, but there are so many entertaining stories to explore for less than a buck!

Check out R.M.'s website
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  1. " I've since fallen in love with this seemingly 'new' way of thinking when it comes to writing."

    I liked what you said here. It is definitely a different way of thinking. You can always tell when a person is writing a short story with a "novel" mindset.

  2. I totally agree with both of you.
    There's SUCH a difference between writing a "true" short story and writing a story that happens to be short.

    Does that make any sense?

    But a lot of people--myself included--have made the mistake of writing something that would best be part of something larger like a novel.
    Short stories have to be completely self-contained and that's an entirely different kind of writing.

    Shana Hammaker
    METAMORPHOSIS, Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

  3. This issue has two sides to it as well. On the one hand, we have the people writing the stories with the novel mindset.

    On the other hand, there are the readers. Readers who are not familiar with the genre will approach it with a novel mindset. So even if the short story is well-written and self-contained, they can't help but be disappointed.

    It's an altogether sticky situation.

  4. There's an article in this month's Writer's Digest about short stories and explains how it's perhaps the most difficult forms of writing to do. Trying to write a gripping, self-contained story in so few words is a challenge in itself.

    For someone who is used to writing longer pieces, this can be a challenge. Moreover, when a reader is reading the story for the first time, they need to feel that sense of closure upon finishing it so they're not left feeling disappointed because 'the story was too short.'


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