Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Writing short stories

On my other blog, Reader Girls, the talk is always about books, authors, and reviews. Being immersed in all things books, I have noticed trends in publishing. One such trend caught my eye. The anthology. Short stories. I've read many in three years: All I Want Holiday Romance, Enthralled, Kiss Me Deadly, Teeth, The Awakening & Other Stories, Love Is Hell, Faery Tales & Nightmares, The Eternal Kiss, Eternal: More Love Stories With Bite, Shards and Ashes and Defy the Dark. I have more anthologies on my ereader and on my book shelves to read. Each volume has an interesting mix of stories-some which impressed and captivated me, others not so much. The experience of reading these stories did get me thinking.

Should I try my hand at writing a short story? Again?

I've always liked reading short stories, but didn't think I could write one. Why did I think this? Because I consider myself a 'wordy' writer so novels have always been my preferred choice. Until last year. I suddenly wanted to try writing in the format I had avoided since college. I had received a postcard from Writer's Digest about their short story contest and thought, "I can do this, right?" It also helped that a character, this boisterous, loud teen guy (yep, a guy) decided to fill my brain with his ideas and dialogue one afternoon. I listened and sat down to write what took shape and eventually became "Creepers," a paranormal story about Zack and the strange voice in his head.

Well, I didn't win the contest but I considered it a win anyway. I proved to myself that I could pen something in a shorter format. Know what? I loved it! Since then I have written about five more short stories in various lengths. I studied and read up on the format and now find the task of telling a story in a smaller amount of words rewarding. Creating and writing is still hard work and very satisfying. An added benefit is it doesn't take as long to type the words "The End." 

I'm now writing a longer short story for a submission call for an anthology and I'm totally--TOTALLY-- into this one. The ferocity with which this story came over me and commandeered my fingers on top of the keyboard was intensely cool. As Kat's paranormal tale takes shape, I'm waiting to hear word about my other short story being accepted for publication in another anthology.

It's funny how we fall into things. For years I shied away from attempting short stories and now I'm totally into writing them. I'm also interested in trying the short story's sister, novella. Anything is possible!

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