Writing Books/Writing


I write fictional short stories and have been doing so for around eight years. Nothing published. I work full time at a technical job and have found that it takes me 2-3 months to finish a short. I usually have friends read them and have not gotten a negative response yet, but I still feel like I am lacking. Does it normally take a good writer that long to finish a short story? Am I getting inaccurate feedback by using my friends as readers?

It generally takes me 5 years to write a novel, so I see no issues with a few months for a short story.  Don't worry about the time it takes you.  Just worry about the quality of it.

As for using your friends as readers... yes, this isn't usually a good idea, for two reasons.  First, who's to say that your friends really understand what makes a truly good piece of fiction?  Liking it isn't enough.  That's not a critical enough eye.  And second, it's rare that a friend will be fully honest with you, because they'll want to spare your feelings.  Sure, sometimes you do run across that rare friend who will pull no punches.  If you have a friend who's always brutally honest with you on other matters, even when it hurts, then you might well trust them to read your work.  But a friend who sugar-coats things isn't the test reader for you.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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