Rewrite Your Novel as a Short Story

by Tim Kane

I’ll admit, I’m stealing this idea from io9. But, it’s a damn cool idea that I plan to try out. First, backtrack. Say you have a finished draft of a novel. In my case, it’s after the thrill ride of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

I have draft of the story, but it’s rough with more than a few typos. Rather than dive right into revisions, I plan to rewrite the whole thing as a short story. Yes. That does sound like a lot of work. So why toil away?

Story arc.

I know that just because I have a 50,000 words, doesn’t mean I have coherent story. If I can successfully condense this into, say, a 5000 word story, then I could get to the meat of the narrative.

The trick is to not look back at the original. Then, I’d be tempted to simply revise that. If I forget a scene or two, then those must not have been that pivotal. Maybe I’ll need to invent some new material. Excellent. Then I could add it the manuscript.

Best of all, I’ll discover if the whole concept actually works, of if I need to go to square one. So if you’re looking for a fresh perspective on your writing, think of going small.


About Tim Kane

Tim Kane is a writer of fiction.
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4 Responses to Rewrite Your Novel as a Short Story

  1. That’s interesting. I actually wrote my novel based on a short story I had written before. I’m sure if I went back the other way, it wouldn’t be the same story though. It grew quite a bit in the telling.

  2. Marylouise Millikin says:

    There’s no better way to practice the art of writing than to write a few poems and short stories. Have you ever tried your hand at them? It’s surprising the number of writers that have never done this. Instead they jump straight in with their first novel. `

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