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The Lure of the Short Story

08 May

After the whirlwind writing of Forbidden Passions (which will be out this Fall, in case you hadn’t heard :c) ), I began a new novel that takes place during the women’s suffrage movement. I got a few chapters into it and kinda stagnated. It’ll still get written, but I decided to take a break from novel writing to work on some short stories.

I love writing short stories. I know several authors who seem to think Short Story writing is some form of medieval torture, but I really enjoy writing them. I thought I’d write a blog and try to put into words what it is that draws me to writing brief, succinct stories as opposed to the long, drawn out, in-depth novels. Not that I don’t love writing novels. And I don’t think I prefer one over the other. I just consider writing short stories a way to keep the writing juices flowing while taking a break from the labor-intensive novel.

One thing that draws me to short stories is the challenge of meeting a certain theme. Whether the theme be paranormal, long-term love, or college fun, there is a specific theme to write to. That’s one of the things I enjoy the most. You’ve got a certain theme that’s generally more specific than “Romance” or “Erotica.” Altho I’m working on some stories for one anthology that’s erotica, but it has to be no more than 1200 words. So while the theme is broad, the word count is very confining.

Another thing is that you can write a short story in a matter of weeks, whereas generally a novel takes me several months to a year. Sometimes longer, depending. So there’s a feeling of accomplishment  sooner – more like that instant gratification I search for LOL.

I’d like to hear from other writers on your feelings about writing short stories and I’d like to hear from readers – do you read short stories? If so – what draws you to them?

For now, I look forward to comments and I’m off to write!

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9 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Writing

 

9 responses to “The Lure of the Short Story

  1. carriecarr

    May 8, 2011 at 13:33

    I’ve tried the short story thing; not very good at it, I’m afraid. I can’t seem to develop characters in a short amount of time. And, usually my “short” stories end up being about 80,000 words. LOL! Those that can write short stories have my utmost respect. It completely amazes me!

     
    • mjwilliamz

      May 8, 2011 at 13:35

      Even my novels are shorter than that! LOL

       
  2. C.B. Wentworth

    May 8, 2011 at 14:10

    Short stories are a form of torture, but apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. There is something irresistible about the challenge of telling a story within such small parameters. It forces me choose my words more carefully and create a tighter storyline.

    When I was writing my novel, I wrote short stories after completing each chapter. It was way to take a break without having to give up the practice of writing. 🙂

     
    • mjwilliamz

      May 8, 2011 at 14:15

      That’s impressive that you wrote a short story after each chapter! That would take a lot of work, but you’re right – it’s a great way to take a break. Thanks for the comment

       
  3. Anita Bradshaw

    May 8, 2011 at 15:22

    I enjoy short stories, although I read a lot less of them than I would like. But, sometimes it is nice to have something you can read and not be caught up in a long novel. So, hurray for short stories!

     
  4. Lara

    May 8, 2011 at 15:33

    The lure of the short story for me, since I also write both, is the chance to write a self-contained, single event, without always thinking forward and backward on cause or consequence. Yes, you need to know the immediate cause, or the immediate consequence to enticingly open or close a story, but you are not required to fully explore it, and can leave some to the readers’ suppositions.

     
  5. Beth

    May 8, 2011 at 15:43

    i fiind short stories a good way to find new authors. An anthology will offer me choices of some unknown authors as well as authors I’ve read before. Short stories allow me to get a feel of how an author writes.

     
  6. Patty G. Henderson

    May 8, 2011 at 15:50

    Short story writing, as an art form, is like cutting through the meat with a razor sharp sword instead of a dull butter knife. It is story-telling in deeper simplicity without clutter.

    I like even sharper, leaner fiction…..flash fiction…..stories under 1,000 words. Think you can do that?

    If any of you like horror or terrifying tales and would love to partake of flash fiction by some of our best gay and lesbian authors, you should give PD Publishing’s CHILLING TALES, a try. MJ has some phenomenal work in the anthology.

    Nice blog, my darkling.

     
    • mjwilliamz

      May 8, 2011 at 16:07

      Thanks for the plug, Patty. I very much enjoy writing flash fiction and was honored that you included my work in that anthology

       

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