by Julie, enjoying fall in Somerville
Coming up with this graphic, which is admittedly goofy, was easier than figuring out how to write the short story that has been stymying me for a few weeks. Let me explain.
On occassion, there are calls for short story submissions for anthologies. For the past few years I’ve tried to write a story to submit to different anthologies. Inevitably, what happens is that I start a new novel. Perhaps not a good novel, but a novel. I can’t boil the idea down to 2000-5000 words without it blowing up to much longer.
Of course, a short story idea can’t be as complicated as a novel. But the storytelling still needs to be complex and satisfying. There is art in understanding the difference, and doing it well. Several of the Wickeds have written wonderful short stories. I’ve published two in the past. But as with everything in writing, the better I get at the craft the more I want to challenge myself. And so I’m working on a couple of short stories.
Keeping the novelist at bay is difficult. I love backstory, subplots, and lots of characters. Rather than trying to wrestle that, I’m working on keeping it lean. And not giving up.
Do you find some challenges impossible, and yet you persist? That’s how I feel about this–by November 1 I’m going to write a short piece of crime fiction that is good, solid, and polished. As of this moment, I have notes, and an idea. Wish me well, friends. Starting a new novel would be less difficult.
Yet I persist.