At Story Quest Academy, we challenge teens to write a new short story every month using a fun prompt and provide easy-to-understand education on writing from first draft to published story. Writing short stories provide a lot of benefits many people are unaware of. I’ve experienced the benefits of writing short stories firsthand and seen these benefits when other writers start writing short stories.
Here are the top 4 reasons I use short stories in my creative writing curriculum.
1. Master New Techniques In A Fraction Of The Time
Novels are a labor of love. They can be anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 words long. Some writers can get a novel done in just under three months, and others can take up a decade to write an entire novel.
Many young writers still have skills that need to be worked on and improved. Maybe they struggle to write dialogue, maybe they need help to create compelling characters, or maybe there are a couple of grammar rules that elude them. The point is, writing a novel for practice means that your teen is going to spend a lot of time working on a project that may or may not be publishable by the end.
A short story is 1000 to 7000 words, so it’s going to be a lot easier to write a lot of stories. This allows you to isolate specific techniques and have your aspiring writer practice them over and over until they’ve mastered them in a much shorter amount of time.
2. Learning The Art Of Finishing
Short stories allow writers to learn the art of finishing what they start. Some young writers get so excited by each and every new idea, they never seem to finish any story and get discouraged by their own lack of focus. A short story is easier to finish than a whole novel and will allow them to increase their ability to focus. This is an essential skill that separates many would-be writers from the published novelists.
3. Go Beyond The First Draft
The writing process doesn't start and end with the first draft. In fact there are six stages after writing the first draft including getting feedback, editing and proofreading! Writing short stories allows the writer to go beyond the first draft and dive into the world of editing. More books are abandon in the editing stage than the writing stage. If you help your young writer to tackle each stage of the writing process with a short story, they will be prepared for the work of a novel.
4. Quiet Your Inner Critic
Young writers can be great critics of other people's work. This is a skill, if used correctly, that can help them become a better writer in leaps and bounds by teaching them to analyze the greats. On the other hand, perfectionists tend to be so frustrated by their own writing that they give up after writing a few sentences. Short stories give them a chance to practice the skill of quieting their inner critic on a small scale. They will begin to see their progress from story to story and it will empower them to use their skill of critique to improve their stories.
If you are looking for a writing course for your teen to practice these skills, look no further than Story Quest Academy. Packed with fun activities, easy-to-understand education and rewards to keep them motivated, this virtual writing academy is perfect for young writers everywhere. https://smll.ink/AdvQuest