Thursday, August 27, 2009

Long and Short

While stalling on my novel, which is in a bit of overhaul at the moment, I went through my shorts, looking for unpublished, near-finished, and reviewing submissions status. To my surprise, I only have three stories left right now, in a close to finish or finished status. I submitted one. I have to re-query on another. And a third is just kind of an oddball that I don't know whether to revise or submit elsewhere as is.

It has been a very, very long time since I had this few short stories bouncing around my computer, waiting for homes.

Truthfully, I kind of miss the shorts. I miss the form and the instant gratification that comes with the completion. Right now, I don't have any short ideas, oddly. I do, however, have the novel on the forefront of my brain. Thinking and rethinking my pacing and plotting and tension and conflict.

Writing shorts is a whole different mindset than long stories. In many ways, shorts are different structure. It's a much carefuller focus and many ideas just won't fit in the short form. A problem that's compounded by the many zines who are looking for 2500 words and other small amounts. It's like stuffing a fluffy down comforter into milk crate. It just isn't going to fit. A pillow, on the other hand, stuffs quite nicely.

With the novel, I think a lot about the entire thing, the next scene, the last couple scenes, the set up, the pacing, and so on. It makes it harder to juggle between ideas unless I'm already sure of the next part(s) and it's merely a matter of writing them. Those are fun writing days.

Though the current overhaul has been trying. It's trying to piece together where I'm going while cutting out what didn't work, but also keeping the pacing from being too quick through the plot. And to that some screwing formatting issues that are making things harder than they should, and it's just been easier to go watch HGTV with Hubby all evening than work on the revisions.

Man... this was supposed to be a short post. I can't even write short blog posts or emails at the moment.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I forget how to write them. But I know I want to.

Clare2e said...

It's nice to have stuff out for submission in the long time between novels, so I've got to try to get something churned up for the pipeline. I've also recently been having trouble working short, but I'm trying to think of my chapters each as shorts that need individual arcs and tension to see if that helps me.