...have never really been my thing. Perhaps it's the result of all the short stories I was forced to read over the years of my public school education. I always found them to be, well, short and unsatisfying. And most of the short stories I've come into contact with have been either literary fiction or science fiction, both of which are not my genre of choice. And these two kinds of short stories, in my experience, tended to focus more on asking questions and less on answering them. Which drives me totally crazy.
"You're still bitter about The Lady and The Tiger, aren't you?" said my husband. But NO. No, I am not. Yes, it bugged me at the time, but I soon realized that the story was a gimmick and I wrote both it and its author off as not worth my time.(By the way, I recommend never doing a google image search for "The Lady and the Tiger". Just a tip.)
But short stories just don't flesh things out well enough for my liking. They seem, in my experience, to focus on a premise, a single question which they may answer or may leave you wondering about FOREVER AND EVER. I don't like that. I like detail and I like resolution. I want ALL of my questions answered as thoroughly as possible. That's why I've always preferred novels. My writings have always been novel attempts. I've never written a short story before.
But I hear a lot about how I should challenge myself as a writer and try things outside my comfort zone. That's probably good advice. Well, I simply cannot fathom writing in any genre but fantasy. So how can I challenge myself? That's right, I've decided to try my hand at a short story. After all, I think it would be nice to be able to write shorter works, stories and novellas perhaps, set within my fantasy world but not directly connected to my novels. It would give me another tool for fleshing out that world, which as a world building enthusiast, is something I would like to do. And then I could use the shorts and novellas as free or extremely cheap teasers for my novels when I finally get to the point where I can publish something.
With all this in mind, I took the leap and signed up for the Hone Your Skills Blogfest on March 16th hosted by Rosie Connolly at East for Green Eyes and Charity Bradford at My Writing Journey. The idea is to write and post a very short story (750-1000 words) for critique by others participating and to offer your own critique for them. Submitting the story for publication afterward is optional. (I won't be doing that part.)
I've decided to try and write a fairy tale-esque story, though hopefully not as aloof in style as most old fairy tales. This is going to really be a challenge for me because, wow, 750-1000 words is not going to be easy for someone as... loquacious as me. How do you fit a whole story, beginning middle and end, in that few words? I have no idea, but I'm going to try. Wish me luck!