The Art of a Short Story


Guest Post by author John Lynn

         If I hadn’t accepted the invitation from a critique group, I would have never written a short story.  While I was forewarned in a novel-writing course that most of us neophytes were not novelists, I pressed on, boring the poor souls around me with long literary pieces destined for the trash bin.  This was not to say that I would never write a novel; rather, now was not the time.  Then came the question, how does one tell a story in two thousand words?  The answer: Let the subconscious do the walking, the pen do the talking.  I sat down to write Mirage, not knowing I was about to do so.  My mind wandered as my pen walked across the page.  From deep in my consciousness a story, good enough to win something, appeared.  I was in shock.

     The genesis of For Posterity came from a much different place, the heart.  Over the course of two years, I had written many short stories, winning congratulations on many of them.  One of the stories was titled: Generations.  I thought of the title; who might read this story, and the other short tales, after I had passed?  Rather than submitting the stories to magazines, I decided to enclose the ensemble of stories between a cover, For Posterity.  

     I had utilized the virtual world (Dreamstime) for a book cover before, but these stories were too close to my soul.  Meeting the right artist who had already painted my cover was a pure stroke of luck – and good networking.  M. Allsion produced the book cover and graphite pencil sketches to precede each tale.  The final pencil sketch closes the book and decorates the back cover as well.

     With the assistance of a tech-minded reader, I posted For Posterity.   I had promoted two longer works online and found little interest after the first couple of months.  Here’s the kicker: I’m about to post another short novel: El Camino Real.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  With M. Allison’s art and my wisdom scribbled between the covers, I wanted For Posterity in my hands to tout on the road.  I utilized a printing service to produce fifty copies.  Between giveaways and surprising sales they were gone almost immediately.  Thus, back to the printer for a larger volume of books.  Now, I walk the beautiful trails of Sedona and Carmel with my backpack filled; what better way to nature walk across gorgeous countryside?  My advice to other Indie writers, no matter how many sales one envisions online, have an ample supply of copies in hand.  You are by far the best and often the only salesperson capable of selling your product.

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“For Posterity” is available on Amazon

Cover Artist: M. Allison






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