Saturday, February 12, 2011

Short Stories

I don't think I'm entering the Jane Austen Made Me Do It contest. I'm just not feeling it- the story doesn't feel alive to me and if it doesn't to me, it won't to the readers. Maybe next year.
However, I am entering a story I wrote over the summer to the college lit. mag. I like it, but I am always self conscious about other people reading and judging my writing. In my non-fiction class we're reading On Writing Well by William Zinsser and he says that you have to write for yourself. Eventually, if you want to do this for a living, other people have to get involved and it's not just for you any more, though. For my non-fiction class we're writing short memoirs this week, which is fun, but also challenging. Sometimes while I'm writing, I find I'm writing about other people, not myself.
Sometimes I think it's easier to write fiction, inventing a truth within the world of your story can be easier that expressing a truth from your own world.
I'm still working on rewriting my novel. Some days, after I've finished a book that was incredible; interesting, well constructed, with good characters, I feel like I am so presumptuous to think my book could compete. Yet, I love my characters too much to keep them to myself.
I've been practicing building suspense by writing some shorter stories with my characters solving puzzling mysteries in under 5000 words. I think I'll end up piecing these shorter mysteries together to create a book told from the sidekick's perspective that covers her first year working with the detective. We'll see.


  1. I like the idea of writing the shorter stories to practice and flesh out the characters.
    I started a story this year and I blended myself with total fiction and found it pretty easy to write that way. Now if I could just keep my motivation going...
    Do you read The Story Sensei?

  2. Many writers I know start with shorter pieces that gradually become longer.
    It's a low pressure way to keep yourself writing. I don't have to have an idea for a complete novel every time I sit down to write about these characters.
    I've never seen that blog- I'll check it out.