Not written by me!
I haven’t read all the articles (in my TO DO list), so I do not agree or disagree. I just thought to put it here for my own reference, and yours.
My short story “Inversion” (a pinch of Gothic horror, a touch of psycho-talk, a re-reading and re-telling of the Greek Minotaur’s legend) is published in the Yellow Booke, HERE.
This is the illustration for my story kindly provided by Old Tales Press’ editor M. Grant Kellermeyer:
I love it, love the stark b/w contrast and little details that really connect to the story and to the way I envisioned this retelling of the myth.
You can read my story “Inversion” alongside others in the Yellow Booke for free HERE.
I wrote a script for the 48hr Film Challenge organised by Mental Health Scotland…and seeing it filmed in the space of 48hr was an amazing experience.
I’ll put up a link from YouTube as soon as the panel makes a decision, but all films will be shown in a ceremony at the end of October 🙂
Still very hectic around here, a few stories submitted, now waiting for results, but more importantly, more writing!
Hope your writing plans are going well, feel free to share!
Writing is hard work. I would never discourage anyone from writing, but I would tell them: it’s hard. Because you not only have to write – that wonderful act of connecting your brain to your fingers and your fingers to a pen or a keyboard and seeing words appearing on the page or the screen – but you also have to do hundreds of other things. And one of these things, whether it’s for a short story or a novel, it’s planning.
I used to be one of those non-planning writers, and to a certain extent, for short stories I still am. I love that impulse that comes from having a combination of words in your head, and writing them down to see where they take me. It’s a great journey of discovery and few other thrills are like it, for me.
However, planning is important. I dare say, fundamental. And yes, even for a short story, a few notes, a quick trajectory mapping your themes, your character/s’ path, will make your story better, more cohesive, with every word resonating with the others.
Look at this, Catch 22 outline/plan:
You can find more example of writers’ writing plans here in this Flavorwire article: Authors Handwritten Outlines
(and I so want to turn all of those into posters, or even a wall paper!).
Fascinating, isn’t it?
As I said, I used to be a non-planner, but I’ve changed (David Bishop, I’m looking at you). Now I know WHY you should plan your novel.
Planning doesn’t take away any of the joys (jouissance, there, I said it) of writing, on the contrary. And here are the reasons WHY you should outline/plan your novel (novella and/or short story):
Next time you sit down with an idea in your mind, outline it. Make it yours. Make it a map of your narrative that you can follow and choose your path on, and where you and your characters and ideas will never get lost.
I’d like to know if you plan or outline, and how you do it. I find that paper is still the best way for me, and only after I can put it on a Word document, but there’s also specialized software and post it notes on the wall: what’s your system?
And if you don’t have one, why?
A relatively short time ago, writers were able to support themselves by selling short stories. I don’t know if any writer can still do that, (let me know if you or someone you know do 🙂 but it seems not as feasible anymore.
This article, The State of the Short Story, argues for television and changed habits being part of the influence in the lack of interest in the short story. It also poses longer narratives, such as novels, as occasions for losing oneself in another world/time/character, whereas the short story requires a stringent attention by its readers, and delivers a punch which makes for a less relaxing reading experience.
I’m not arguing with that. I want to point out how happy I am when I travel on the bus and the tube (in the UK) and realize how many fellow travelers are reading: a book, an ebook, doesn’t matter. They’re still reading.
Short stories don’t have the market they could have, not mainstream. But there are plenty of magazines seeking short stories submissions, and plenty of writers skilled in the genre. What I think is missing, and it resonates with my post on Ian McEwan’s preference for the Novella vs. the Novel, is a certain fluidity of the literary/genre market.
The short story is mostly seen, these days, as a trampoline for writers to get noticed, and then move on the more remunerative novel form. Instead, all forms of writing, no matter their word count, should be considered at the same level.
Just because a short story has a smaller word count, doesn’t mean it’s easier to write. Nothing is easy to write, in a way. All forms present their challenges, their flaws, their advantages.
If you’re interested in the short story, you may appreciate Object Lessons, The Paris Review’s collection of short stories and essays on the Art of the Short Story.