Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Short Stories Are Too Short

Since the end of Camp Nano, I've been concentrating on short stories, as opposed to the novels I've been focusing on for a while.  So, in the last four days, I've written two full short stories, with an idea for one more story running around in my head.

The first short story I submitted for consideration to an online magazine.  I'm hoping that it will be an addition to their third issue released in late September.

The other two stories are for Pen Duels, the part of my critique group where we use writing prompts to create stories, then critique them.  I've had the writing prompts for over a month, but I've just recently had time to actually sit down and start thinking about them.

I'm actually really excited for them.  The first one, entitled Mask is already written and submitted.  I had two amazing beta readers who gave me some really good feedback, and I'm actually really hopeful that it will be accepted.  Not certain, but hopeful.

The second The Locket I've just finished.  I'm not so excited for this one, I feel like something isn't quite right in it.  I'm going to have to fix it in editing.  It's not for submission, but I feel like I need to rework it until it's right and makes the impact I want it to make.  Of course, at the same time, I really have to make sure I'm not working it too much.  I have to take into account that the stories that make it down on paper never seem quite as shiny one they're there as they do when they're bouncing around in my head.  Of course, those same stories seem so much shinier to the people reading the stories.

The third is nothing more than an idea that's lingering in my mind.  I thought of it on Monday at critique group.  I knew that I wanted to have some kind of supernatural element to it, mostly because I've really been leaning more toward the urban fantasy / dark fantasy genres.  So a friend of mine looked up mythological creatures to me, and started reading them out.  One made me sit up and take notice.  It wasn't exactly something that I would have expected to get my attention, and yet it did.  I'm eager to start it, and at the same time worried that I won't get it right.  I'll do my best, though, it's all I can do as a writer.

So why am I telling you all of this?  Because those three stories (one of which isn't even written yet) have morphed themselves into full on novels in my head.  More than just novels, in fact.  They're quickly becoming series.

I'm not exactly short on shiny new ideas.  In fact, I already know what stories I'll be writing in November, and I picked them out of a book where I record all of the ideas that I get for stories.  I have more than enough in that book to keep me busy for years.  All I have to do is flip through the pages and wait for one of them to stand out to me, and I have my next project.

Three new ideas may not sound like a lot, but these aren't exactly half thought of vague suggestions.  These are ideas that have already been fairly formed into short stories.  I can see where each of them goes, and I think that they would be fun to write.

Of course, I already have more than enough to keep me busy in November (I've even got a back up novel just in case I need more words to write...which is definitely a possibility with me.)  These ideas that are being so insistent can't be written any time soon.

So they've been jotted down in the book and told to wait.  That I'll get to them eventually. (Honestly, it will probably be sooner rather than later).

In all of this, I think I've come to a conclusion.  I'm not a short story writer.  I can write the stories, but I always have that urge to continue them.  I can never contain them to nothing more than the 5-7 pages that I originally intended them to be.

That's alright.  I love novels, and I love thinking in terms of series.  It just means that every time I write a short story, I risk getting more shiny new ideas that will have to be written down.

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