Monday, January 23, 2012

Writing Shorts

When I started writing for keeps, I thought only of novels. After my first novel was accepted, I got an inkling that a short or two might be a nice way to start promoting my name waiting the year until the novel was released. The problem was, I always assumed I couldn't write short fiction - I am very long winded in my writing, by nature. It seems to me that plots and characters need time/pages for me to develop to my liking.

However, I managed to write one, and then did it a few more times (six short stories and one novella between Oct 2010 and Dec 2011). My shorts have been well received, with several reviewers noting they read like full novels (likely because I don't know exactly how to bend my brain away from novel construction, but they did mean it in a good way).

Last month, I did an interview, and the blogger asked me why I became a shorts writer, and if I ever planned on trying another novel. I was a bit taken aback, since I never intended the shorts to become my "image," but to bolster the novels. I explained I had written a couple more novels, but they take longer to release, so more shorts came out in the meantime.

Here's the issue - I have several shorts in various states of production (about five written in draft), but I don't know if I want to do them any more. Or, stories under novella length, at least. This will make my output look smaller, and it may appear as if I am not creating as much as I was, I know, since they take longer to write, edit, submit, and produce. I guess I'll just have to deal with having a skimpy bibliography.

On the upside, this will mean fewer releases, which means less promo work, and more time to write - so perhaps it will balance out?

I haven't adamantly set my mind against shorts forever, but I think I do want to get back to my first love - writing novels. I do love the shorts I have released, so it's not that I am dumping on them. It's just that I never pictured myself becoming a "short story writer," and it may be time to return to the original medium that drew me to professional fiction writing.

This is no big announcement of anything, really. Just a random thought about where I'm headed in 2012. I apologize for being so absent from the blog. I will be getting this thing back on track, with luck, in the coming months.

3 comments:

Ruth Madison said...

I'm in a very similar place!

I've always said that it's a different skill set to write short stories than to write novels and I'm a novelist.

However, with the lure of having more things to offer people, I have been writing short stories and, nor surprisingly, they are outnumbering my novels.

I hope I can strike a balance doing both! But it is tricky to stay on track with the novels when the short stories get finished so much faster.

Anne Holly said...

The little ones do get addictive, don't they? :D

I think as a way to balance the pros and cons, I will still be very open to novellas, so I can get in some smaller projects in between novels, as a little rest and change of pace. I'll just structure my time around my novels.

I may still do shorts, if something particularly grabs me, but I think sticking to longer formats, otherwise, is where I want to go right now.

I like the shorts, but I need to make time to write the novels I have planned.

Jonas Mateo said...

When you first started writing for keeps, I was intimidated, a bit jealous, even felt a little shrugged off. I face that fear only to find your work is passionate and alluring, the energy of the soul I fell in love with. I am so very proud of you now, thank you.

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