A well-crafted short story doesn’t have to stop where it is. If you are interested in developing your short story into a longer novel, ask yourself the following questions to make the path clearer.
Why Do You Want to Expand Your Short Story?
This is an important question to ask, and likely the first issue you should address.
Do you want to explore and expand the characters and universe you have created? This can be an exciting motivation for adding to a short story that will keep you motivated. Perhaps you want to explore the format of a novel, which may be more challenging if you are used to creating shorter pieces.
Whatever your motivation, be sure that your story is worth expanding. If it’s perfect as a short story, you may want to pick something else, but if it’s clear that there’s more to tell, go for it.
How Can You Add to the Plot?
Of course, expanding a short story into a novel means adding more to the plot. You will have to look at your existing main plot to see where there is potential for more conflict, character development, and action.
Make sure anything you add contributes to the central theme of the story. A novel is not a short story plus filler material.
It can be helpful to look at your short story as one small part of the novel. The ending of your short story doesn’t have to be the ending of the novel. You can use it as a jumping point to explore what happens in your characters’ world next.
Beware of adding dialogue, too many characters, or extraneous details to add to your word count. Everything you put into your novel should belong, just as it did in your short story.
How Can You Ensure Writing Success?
Structure is key in any written work, but especially in longer pieces like novels. Mapping out your short story as a novel is key to making sure that it has a solid structure that can be filled in with the details, characters, and plot points that will bring your world to life.
Set up a good plan for your short story and remember your goals so that you remain motivated. By being ambitious and staying dedicated to the task, you can have a powerful novel on your hands in due time.