I’ve discovered something new. I actually like writing short stories. What a shock! I haven’t written any short fiction for oh, about fifteen, twenty years. I only did it then because everyone said, “Learn to write short stories, sell a few, make a name for yourself and ONLY then move on to novels.”
I was never a short story reader. Only novels. But, I dutifully began to read short stories and tried for years and years to write them. I managed to crank out a few which were passable, not good, just passable. Mostly what I wrote were novel outlines disguised as short stories. And since I failed so spectacularly, a large amount of time was spent procrastinating. I mastered that!
About nine years ago I decided that I would just write a novel. To hell with the whole short story idea. So I did. Then our daughter was born and I lost the ability for coherent thought for nearly two years. Sleep deprivation is an astonishing thing. After I could think again, and preschool entered the picture, I went back to novel writing, which I’ve done ever since.
Now that I’ve made the choice to become an indie publisher, I keep hearing it’s easier to upload a short story first (less pages of mistakes to correct in formatting), then the novels. A friend suggested I go back and look at my old short stories. I resisted at first, then did it and found one I’ve always loved. I had changed a few things which felt right to me (bowing to advice of better writers than I) and submitted it several places, years ago. It never sold, either it wasn’t good enough, there just wasn’t a market to fit it–like much of what I write. Or I had killed the story by removing some of the intrinsic parts which some folks didn’t like. Note–listen to self.
So, I took a look at the story, changed the things which needed to go back to the original and cleaned up the rough parts. I’m now really pleased with how it works. It seems all those years of working on novels taught me something about short story structure.
It’ll be going up at all the normal ebook places as soon as I finish wrestling technology to the ground! Formatting might kill me, but I think I’ve got the whole cover thing figured out–having great fun playing with Pixelmator and images! Stay tuned.
Then I did the unthinkable. I wrote another one. And this week–another! And I started getting ideas for a couple of series of short stories, very loosely connected, one for YA. The other aimed primarily at adults. So, I’m on a roll.
Life is very exciting!