I've been writing related short-stories for years, but around 10 months ago, I started to think about a novel based on these stories. The same universe, the same main characters but a longer story which takes place during a longer part of their lives.

I don't want to transform one of my short-stories into a novel (like in this question) but really write a different story. My previous texts could be a kind of extension for this novel.

Anyway, I continue to write short-stories to go deeper in several points to prepare my longer story. Is this a good idea or should I stop writing short-stories in order to write my novel?

  • 2
    Depends on how related they are. A novel sprouting from a short story is nothing unusual; interweaving your short story or a few as background threads of your novel is common too. Making three quite distinct stories the central plot of your single novel (as opposed to say, a trilogy).
    – SF.
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 14:14
  • @SF : They are strongly related, some more than others. And they're also around 10 short-stories done/in-writing/in-project, it will be too difficult to take only three on them. But thanks anyway.
    – Shkeil
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 17:23
  • What reading have you done, or films watched that leaves this Question open? Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


A really good example for this is Night Watch. Sergei Lukyanenko wrote three related "short stories" that, read together, form the book.

So, related stories that could be linked to a same plot, could be released as a single novel.

Another point of view would be Matrix Reloaded, even not being a book, but a movie.

Matrix is the main plot line but in Animatrix you will find a lot of related short stories that will help to understand the main plot and even open the curtains for it.

I guess this second option would fit into what you want, since you already have the shorties and want to write a novel that could extends them.

  • I didn't know about Animatrix, but yes it fit. Thanks a lot.
    – Shkeil
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 17:26

It sounds like your shorts stories would be backstory to the main novel. Things that happened to the main characters before the novel. That is not unusual, the Silmarillion is much the same for Lord of the Rings.

You would want to have the main characters have previous interactions that they refer to and these short stories would be them. This is a good way to provide real depth to your world.

  • An important part of my short stories will be backstory, but somes of them (the first one at least) would probably be included in the main novel. Provide depth in my world is why I continue to write my short-stories. Your answer convince me is a good way for it. Thanks.
    – Shkeil
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 19:12
  • You're welcome. I prefer books with solid world building. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 20:29

Passion is the main thing that gives you good writing. If short stories catch more of your interest then you can go for them. If you wish to have change or some keen interest to deliver some message via novel, then you can go for a novel.

Or if you wish both can be done simultaneously.


  • It doesn't answer the question. I don't ask if it's better to write a novel or a short stories, but if I can use my short-stories to write a novel.
    – Shkeil
    Commented Sep 2, 2013 at 8:00
  • Yes definitely you can use short stories to make a novel id it really delivers the message that you want to get delivered.
    – Sweet72
    Commented Sep 2, 2013 at 10:45

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