Friday, July 26, 2013

a literary one-night-stand

Some really cool pub news I can't wait to share is on the horizon. But I can't yet, because, you know, it's not inked.

So, meantime, I'm writing a short story. Yep. Something less than 2500 words. Okay, friends, this might be a stretch, but what it feels like is dating after a long-term marriage. The pacing, the pressure. The wondering if and when you should make out. The tentative plunge into scary? I'm peeking out of a hole, you know? Do you have any idea what I mean? Okay, maybe it's even worse than dating. Maybe it feels like a one-night-stand. A stranger in the night. I'm hooking up. No, really, I am. With these characters I'm not invested in. All I have is an idea. A wee arc. Some mayhem.

I haven't attempted a short story in, uh, five years maybe? I feel bereft of a skill set. I'd hoped that the old adage it's just like riding a bicycle would apply, but, sadly, no.

There is indeed a reason for it. I've been asked to contribute to an anthology, and like the do-be I am, I don't want to disappoint. I mean, it's a fund-raising anthology, so there's a wee bit of pressure. What if my story sucks so bad it ruins the whole book? That sort of thing.

Gah. Double gah. Are any of you writing stories? What's your experience?

7 comments:

  1. wouldn't that be a feather in your cap, though? that one story that was so bad it was good b/c it impacted all the stories on any pages before or after it? (as if you could write a story so bad that it would ruin a book--i mean, sure, we all can, but you just saying it makes me think there's a really, really good chance it will be the best story in the anthology.)

    i haven't written any real stories in a long time. my experience feels old and unused, covered in cobwebs, like an old black hat in the back of your closet that looks gray from all the dust.

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    1. The bad story--like mold slowly devouring a loaf of bread. There is now five pages of that mold. I have no idea what it is. Maybe penicillin?

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    2. i hate to point out the obvious, but penicillin saved many a life.

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  2. What fun! I love short stories as a reader, though I've only written four in my life. (I've written more novels than short stories, come to think of it. That's weird.) I imagine it would be a good palate-cleanser, and you can be a lot more experimental with them which is always good for rejuvenating.

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    1. It's true! The experimental aspect is fun... I'm trying out objective 3rd. Going into nobody's head. Forcing me to get really micro with description.

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  3. Downith10:30 AM

    Love the analogy. Any succcess I've had so far has been with short stories, so why am I married to my novel?

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    1. I was once strictly a short story gal myself. It's like a whole different sort of writing. In every way. As a reader, I see two distinct experiences. As a writer, two different muscle groups.

      Update: I'm through a first draft. Now, the endless tweaking...

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