Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Celebrate Short Fiction Day


Today is Celebrate Short Fiction Day. I love short fiction. They are little stories I can enjoy reading while waiting for someone or just to pass the time. Some short stories I read can be pretty long and take some time for me to get through, but I can usually read a short story in a day.


The types of short stories I read varies. It can be flash fiction or just a regular short story posted on the Internet. I used to read the stories on Creepy Pasta, but there are other sites featuring short stories too. I used to be subscribed to Dark Animus and the stories in that mag were really good. I also read Cemetery Dance whenever possible. I am subscribed to Underland Arcana, a magazine that publishes short stories, and I also grab an anthology of stories to read anytime I can. I am actually currently reading an anthology of stories, in fact – Books of Horror Community Anthology, Volume One. It is VERY good.


I read all kinds of short stories – horror, mystery, suspense, romance, sci-fi and thrillers. I prefer horror, sci-fi and mystery, but I like to mix up what I read.


Not only do I read short stories, though, but I write them too. I didn’t start out writing my stories, though. As a child, I told lots of stories. My family moved around a lot when I was growing up and I often told stories to pass the time in the car. At some point, I was encouraged to start writing my stories down. Not only this, but friends encouraged me to submit my stories for publication. I didn’t take that leap until my teens. Unfortunately, I got A LOT of rejections, and it was a long time before one of my short stories was finally accepted for publication. It was a nonpaying market, but I was still happy. I was thrilled when the day finally arrived that I sold a short story. That was a huge moment for me.


I still send stories out for publication every once in a while. It depends on if I have a story that is right for that particular market.


I mainly write horror stories but I also write sci-fi and fantasy. I tried my hand at noir once, which was fun, and even gave fanfic a try. I also write stories for children.


I have been known to write short stories in one sitting, but it usually takes me a week to write a story. However, one of the most recent stories I wrote took several weeks to write – I’d say about 3 or 4 weeks. It was a long story, too – coming in at 54 pages. The length of time it takes for me to write a story varies, though. The reason why that particular story was so long was because it had 12 scenes, and I wrote it a scene at a time. With flash fiction, I can get it done quick. Some of the more complicated stories require a little more time.


The fun thing I like about writing short stories is that I can take on writing challenges with them. 


One year, I wrote a short story for every week of the year. That was definitely challenging but also fun. I was surprised at how fast ideas for stories came to me. I spent all week working on one story at a time. You can read about how I did that challenge here.


Another year, I tried to do a word count challenge with the short stories. Unfortunately, I never completed it. I do plan to take up this challenge again another year. If you want to know more about what this particular challenge is all about, you will be able to read about it in an ebook I plan to write next year.


In addition to reading and writing short fiction, I have also reviewed collections of short fiction. That’s something I hope to get published someday, myself. In fact, I recently proposed a series of short fiction collections to one of my publishers. She liked the idea and I sent her the first collection of stories. I am pretty eager to hear back on if it will be accepted or not. It’s a series of five collections and each one will be published as an ebook then, after all five are out, they will all be published together in one big print book. All of the stories fit a particular theme, all of them are horror, and one of them are prequel stories of characters in a novel I wrote. So I am pretty excited about it. I definitely look forward to the day I will finally have my own short story collection published too.


For now, I am happy to read them, as well as any other short stories published on- and offline.


Short stories can be small doses of entertainment as well as a great way to pass the time. Some writers are known for their short stories rather than for other works, and it’s awesome to see short stories being turned into longer works such as novels or even movies. I am so glad we have short stories to read and I’m even happier there is a special day set aside to appreciate short fiction. Humans have been telling stories for a very long time and I hope we will continue to tell our stories, write our stories, and share them for all to read.

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