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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

10 Tips to Use when Transitioning Your Writing from Short Stories to Full-Length Novels

Writing 3 Novels at Once

I've only every written short stories. But over the last several months I've been working on not one, but three novels at once. All within the same trilogy of course.

Transitioning from short stories to novels has been different than what I expected. Even though difficult, it's been a fun challenge. Her are some of my tips of making the transition easier.

10 Tips to Follow When Transitioning from Short Stories to Full Novels

  1. Download Scrivener- Years and year ago, when I tried my hand at writing a full-length novel, I remember coming across a tool called Scrivener. At the time, I couldn't afford the $50 to download it, but now I can. After watching some other writers on Youtube work with the program, I decided to take the leap. Within minutes, I was able to navigate the program on my own creating files in which I could move them around or have multiple up at once. It's helped the process of writing greatly and I don't think I'll ever turn back.

  2. Have Weekly Writing Sessions- A friend of mine is also writing a book. So I asked her if she would like a set a time once a week where we get together and write for an hour. At the end of each session, we tell each other our 'homework' for the next time we meet. Not only does it keep us accountable, but it also keeps us working on our stories.

  3. Write Scenes Not Chapters- With short stories, you don't really have to worry about chapters as often times they are short enough it isn't needed. But with novels, they are created with several scenes complied on top of each other. Often times, writers think they have to write in chapter and each chapter is a scene. This isn't true. In fact, chapters can be composed of several scenes or even land in the middle of a suspenseful scene. Writing has been so much easier now that I am writing in scenes. They act as shorter chapters and can be written out of order. Moving forward, I will continue this method.

  4. Print Out Pictures- Characters in novels have to be more fleshed out so readers feel a connection. To help with this, I've printed out pictures of people I think look similar to my characters to make sure I keep those personality and character traits the same throughout the story. I've done this for things such as places, and animals as well.

  5. Keep Writing- I think this one speaks for itself but writing a novel means you have to keep writing even when you don't feel like it. Each day I set time aside to write even 200 words. Over time this adds up or gets you in the mood to keep writing making the process fun and exciting.

  6. Ask Others of Their Opinions- Sometimes asking others about their thoughts on a scene or even just asking for them to shoot around ideas with you can be a big help. I've asked several close coworkers, family, and friends which as allowed me to see my vision more clearly.

  7. Play Music-I usually don't like to listen to music unless it has lyrics. But recently I have found Dark Academy Lofi which is the similar to the obeyance my story follows. Having it play in the background gets my mind in the mood and play out the scenes in my head with more detail and description.

  8. Light a Candle- Any time I write, I light the same candle. This associates my time of writing. I usually light this about 30 minutes before I decide to write giving my brain enough time to get in the mood of writing and only writing.

  9. Find a Cozy Place to Write-If you aren't comfortable while writing it is going to make the process of sitting down and doing it much harder. The past few weeks I've been finding or setting up cozy little spots in my house and I've gotten so much more work done.

  10. Rethink Through Scenes Before Writing- There are times when I think of a scene to add to my story. When this happens, I don't write it right away. Instead, I let it sit and linger. Often times, I'm able to play it out in my head with different scenarios and ask the question "What if this happens instead?". In the end, the best of the best scenes come out of these thinking sessions, and I'm able to put it on paper pretty fast.

Final Thoughts

If you are a storyteller like me, what methods do you use to go from short stories to full-length novels? Tell me in the comments below. I would love to hear what you might add to the list above.

Looking for more writing tips, subscribe to the blog for bi-weekly posts! Check out some of my past posts on writing.

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