The man writes poetry. He writes plays. He writes short stories and novels. He writes for grown-ups and he writes for kids. And he’s got the awards on the wall to confirm what his readers already knew: Gary Soto is an entertaining, insightful, and amazingly versatile writer. He understands what it means to find just the right format for every story. So when a DearEditor.com reader wondered why she was having so much trouble expanding her great short story into a great full-length novel, I knew Gary was the author to advise her. Below is her question. Gary’s answer to her question is today’s Guest Editor post on DearEditor.com.
I have a short story that my writing group thinks could be a whole novel. I worked hard to distill this character’s story down to its essentials . . . I can’t seem to get my head around expanding it meaningfully. I feel like I’m adding stuff for the sake of adding pages. I hear about great novels that started off as short stories. What’s their secret?
Gary Soto is the author of many much-loved middle grade and young adult novels, short story collections, poetry collections, and plays, including the acclaimed Baseball in April and Other Stories. He’s just published the new short story collection for young readers called Hey 13! and his first e-novel, When Dad Came Back. For more about Gary and his books, visit www.GarySoto.com.