Short Stories with Novel?

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#1
Hello, everyone!

I've just joined the forum and everything here looks amazing from what I've read so far! I poked around to get some ideas for my post here, but I feel my conundrum is specific enough to get direct answers from others. I apologize if I haven't poked around enough to find a solution to this myself.

I'm currently in the works of developing a SFF novel heavily based on erotica, originally intending it to be an interlinking short story piece (the proper term escapes me now) where each chapter can be its own stand alone short story, yet they all work cohesively as one larger story with a few of the same characters being in most if not all of the stories. I realize that's basically what a novel is, but each short story would be different enough to stand out individually as I mentioned and the repeating characters are minimal enough that they aren't the main focus. (A very brief synopsis: a pleasure ship has multitudes of sexual fantasies that can be bought from entertainers which is what each chapter is and the characters to follow throughout the whole collection is someone like a desk clerk and a hostess to lead couples to their rooms).

Though while I've been working on it recently, I've been building up ideas for a large plot to play out within the piece (some bad underground stuff happening involving the ship's captain), adding a few sub plots to keep things interesting (relationships entertainers have with each other and/or their clients). Would it be a good idea to introduce my work by self-publishing short erotica stories to introduce some characters in the upcoming bigger piece, or get the novel out first and then publish short stories as extras for readers? I'm also still see-sawing between my original short story/novel idea and just making this a straight up novel with a main plot.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and any advice/tips given!
 

Jo Zebedee

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#3
I don’t think genre makes any difference. And it’s still sff.

It’s entirely up to you. Both approaches have their merits but one - additional content - works best when a world is established.

For me it would depend how wide my platform was initially and where I wanted to take it. Wide already and the short stories have exposure. Narrow and they’re wasted.

Also check out authors like Jodi Taylor who kill the short/story-novel series conundrum.
 

tinkerdan

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#5
The word might be Vignettes.
Perhaps this all happens on the good ship Vignette.
Anyway, one of my favorite self published authors confessed to me that she writes erotic fiction with a different pen name.(I didn't ask what that was). The gist of the confession was that she makes more money off those than her Science Fiction novels.

If it is hard core erotica you may want to stick with the erotica catagory.

She did write something in the Science Fiction that bumped heads a bit with it; however she told me that it was pretty innocuous in comparison.
 
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#6
I don’t think genre makes any difference. And it’s still sff.

It’s entirely up to you. Both approaches have their merits but one - additional content - works best when a world is established.

For me it would depend how wide my platform was initially and where I wanted to take it. Wide already and the short stories have exposure. Narrow and they’re wasted.

Also check out authors like Jodi Taylor who kill the short/story-novel series conundrum.
That makes a lot of sense, and I'll take note of this while I'm continuing my work. I'll also snag something by Jodi Taylor asap to get some perspective on this idea. Thank you so much!
 
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#7
The word might be Vignettes.
Perhaps this all happens on the good ship Vignette.
Anyway, one of my favorite self published authors confessed to me that she writes erotic fiction with a different pen name.(I didn't ask what that was). The gist of the confession was that she makes more money off those than her Science Fiction novels.

If it is hard core erotica you may want to stick with the erotica catagory.

She did write something in the Science Fiction that bumped heads a bit with it; however she told me that it was pretty innocuous in comparison.
Most of the short stories would be centered around hard core erotica, just highly focused in the SFF realm. I'll keep this in mind while writing, whether to make it SFF sprinkled with lots of erotic scenes or just keep it a standard erotic fiction collection.

Thank you for the word suggestion, I'll look into it! And I love the idea of using that type of word play for the ship :) *types it in bold letters atop of Word Doc notes*
 

Juliana

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#8
I think first you need to decide if you're going for a novel or a series of interconnected shorts. If a novel, than a few short stories that tie in with your world are a great idea. If you go the short-stories-as-novel approach, then maybe you can use the idea of vignettes, or flash fiction size pieces, to keep them distinct from your larger novel sized collection.

We do have a few SFF romance writers in the Chrons, though I think you might be the first writing erotica, but I might be wrong about that! Anyway, welcome!
 
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#9
Thank you! I like the idea of using vignettes/flash fiction pieces as their own separate collection from the novel rather than publishing them each separately if I do end up making this into a large novel piece. I'll be sure to look into what other SFF romance writers have in store here :)
 
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#10
Hi, I think these link might help you get an idea of the market. There is what is called a ,"heat" factor, when writing erotica, there is also various levels of "heat", (sorry, got the giggles now), as described by the big romance publishers like Harlequin, and Mills and Boon. And don't be put off by the fact these are so called romance publishers. Though they still produce their typical old fare, they also produce quite raunchy books as well, especially in their ebook range.
Harlequin.com

Romance, fiction books and ebooks from Mills & Boon
 

The Judge

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#11
I'm pretty sure our Jane O'Reilly** has had some success with erotica, though not in SFF as far as I know. Her SF novel Blue Shift does have some sex scenes in it, and I imagine that will be the case in the remainder of the trilogy, but the emphasis there is on the SF aspects not the sex. Might be worth having a look at her stuff, either side of the divide.

** her Chron name is janeoreilly in case you don't find her here immediately
 

AlexH

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#13
There's a section here that may help, but I've no idea how accurate it is: Novel in Stories/Linked Short Stories, Short Story Collections, Books

I don't know anything about shorts making up a novel, but know novella-in-flash is a thing, because a local writer published this recently: Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton | Ellipsis Zine - the separate flash pieces all stand alone, but make up a whole story. It's moving up my to-read pile.

One of my favourite writers is Chris Willrich. I was delighted when I found out his short story, The Sword of Loving Kindness, has other short stories (and novels) with the same characters, set in the same world. The story I linked to is 10 years old, but he's about to publish another short set in that world. I haven't read the shorts in order, but that hasn't mattered, and they all seemed to work as a standalone.

Catherynne M. Valente is another author who writes short stories and novels set in the same world.

The problem with self-publishing is, unless you already have a readership, how will self-published short stories attract new readers? You could look for established erotica short markets on The Submission Grinder and Duotrope to submit to.
 
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#14
Hi, I think these link might help you get an idea of the market. There is what is called a ,"heat" factor, when writing erotica, there is also various levels of "heat", (sorry, got the giggles now), as described by the big romance publishers like Harlequin, and Mills and Boon. And don't be put off by the fact these are so called romance publishers. Though they still produce their typical old fare, they also produce quite raunchy books as well, especially in their ebook range.
Harlequin.com

Romance, fiction books and ebooks from Mills & Boon
That's such a good idea, thanks for the links!

I'm pretty sure our Jane O'Reilly** has had some success with erotica, though not in SFF as far as I know. Her SF novel Blue Shift does have some sex scenes in it, and I imagine that will be the case in the remainder of the trilogy, but the emphasis there is on the SF aspects not the sex. Might be worth having a look at her stuff, either side of the divide.

** her Chron name is janeoreilly in case you don't find her here immediately
I'll add her name and that title to the list of books and resources to read, thank you!

There's a section here that may help, but I've no idea how accurate it is: Novel in Stories/Linked Short Stories, Short Story Collections, Books.

I don't know anything about shorts making up a novel, but know novella-in-flash is a thing, because a local writer published this recently: Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton | Ellipsis Zine - the separate flash pieces all stand alone, but make up a whole story. It's moving up my to-read pile.

One of my favourite writers is Chris Willrich. I was delighted when I found out his short story, The Sword of Loving Kindness, has other short stories (and novels) with the same characters, set in the same world. The story I linked to is 10 years old, but he's about to publish another short set in that world. I haven't read the shorts in order, but that hasn't mattered, and they all seemed to work as a standalone.

Catherynne M. Valente is another author who writes short stories and novels set in the same world.

The problem with self-publishing is, unless you already have a readership, how will self-published short stories attract new readers? You could look for established erotica short markets on The Submission Grinder and Duotrope to submit to.
Thank you so much for the links! I'll check them out to see what I can find as well as Willrich's works. And you make a good point about self-publishing short stories before getting anything big out, wouldn't make any sense. I'll take a look at those markets you suggested :)
 
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#15
The problem with self-publishing is, unless you already have a readership, how will self-published short stories attract new readers?
Erotica is one of the more successful markets for self-published short stories. Though ever since Amazon introduced KU, people are more likely to read a short for $0.005 a page than buy it for $2.99, so it's nothing like the money-maker it was a few years ago.

Then again, if you can churn them out fast...
 

AlexH

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#17
I've just remembered this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKM65CC/?tag=id2100-20 - it's $1.29 only for this month I think. Looking at the contents, most of the chapters seem to be geared towards the writing of a short story, but there are 3 chapters at the end on exposure (not in an erotic sense!) and publishing.

I haven't read it, but I've read a couple of Rayne Hall's other writing craft books and found them helpful.
 

Juliana

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#18
I thought "fast" was a bad thing in that... er... genre?
Puts a whole other slant on 'a quick read'........ ;)

I kind of like the 'write to order' idea. It reminds me of the thing fanfic writers do where they take requests off Tumblr and turn them into fiction.
 
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#19
I've just remembered this book: Looking at the contents, most of the chapters seem to be geared towards the writing of a short story, but there are 3 chapters at the end on exposure (not in an erotic sense!) and publishing.

I haven't read it, but I've read a couple of Rayne Hall's other writing craft books and found them helpful.
Just 1-Click bought this so fast, haha! Thank you for sharing this with me!
 

Abernovo

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#20
I believe there's another chrons member who's also written erotic romance, but as they're not active on the boards, and out of contact right now, I'll not name them.

I'd agree with Jo that additional content is probably going to sell best when you have an established readership, but an intro story or two might work - it might not even have to start at the beginning (although that is a very good place to start*), but could just give a taste of your sexy space pilot, or a passenger, and their escapades.

If nothing else, you could always produce a couple of day-in-the-life stories, just to flesh out your characters and the universe for yourself. If they developed into something to sell, all the better.

Most of all, good luck with your work. And, welcome to the Chrons. :alien:

*sorry, it was too much for me to resist - I like that film. :giggle:
 

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