Writing words into stories is hard work sometimes. I envy people who can whip out a short story over a weekend and sell it on Monday. I'm not one of those people. Occasionally, I can write a story and polish it within a week or two by working in the evenings and on the weekends, but rarely do I finish a short story in less than two weeks.
I mean I can, but it's not usually a very good story.
I have a story that stymied me recently. I've been working on it off and on for a month now. I was ready to trash it until my reading partner told me that she loved it. She also told me how to fix it--the places where I was unclear or had shot off the rails into a side plot that didn't belong in this particular story.
About ninety percent of my work would hit the recycle bin without ever seeing the light of day if I were left to my own devices. That's why it's good to have a second set of eyes on every one of my projects.
What gave me so much patience with this yet unnamed story was another short story that I wrote back in the spring. "La Santisima" took all the same weird curves and turns that this current story has suffered. I worked on "La Santisima" a little at a time as a side project for a couple of months.
"Naked the Sings" shot out of my laptop in a week. That was one of the rare stories that just flowed from beginning to end. "Love, Crystal and Stone" fell between the others--at times it came very quickly, other portions had to be groomed and polished relentlessly.
I love working on short stories, though. They give me the opportunity to experiment with different styles and subjects without the time investment of a novel. I also force myself to complete them whether I think the story has merit or not.
The ones that I spend the longest time working on are usually my better works, the ones that I'm very proud of when I reread them.
A couple of links:
Drey's Library is running a series of posts where authors who are involved with the Neverland's Library Anthology discuss why we wrote stories for the anthology. Mine is here.
You can read an exclusive excerpt from "Love, Crystal and Stone" at the Fantasy Book Critic.
Sabrina Vourvoulias wrote an exceptional post on Some Thoughts About Ageism, Fear, Failed Posts and Even More Failed Imaginations. I agree with her and she will no longer be fighting that battle alone. I'll also raise the banner to see more older characters in novels.
That's it for this week.
Come back next week, because if the stars come together and the universe smiles upon us, I might have something very special for all of you.