Monday, March 30, 2009

Wretched shortness

I'm starting to wonder if writing short stories is worth the effort. I swear I sweat as much over a 5,000 word story as I do over an 80,000 word novel, with a lot less enjoyment.

See, the awful, horrible, detestable time travel story came back with a rewrite request yesterday. I dread the work it'll take me to rewrite the ending, and I'm not even convinced I can make the story work. I'd much rather work on Little Sparrow, which will probably never sell either, but which is a whole lot more fun to write.

I'll do the time travel story rewrite, of course, and I'll probably write that Hungry Tiger story I've been thinking about. I might even write that octopus story I was thinking about a few months ago, even though the Book of Tentacles is full--I got as far as figuring out the characters and setting for that story, and it's pretty interesting. But after that, I'll see how I feel. I spend so much of my free time writing, I think I'd rather write stuff I enjoy.

10 comments:

Jeremy Kelly said...

Good idea. I get stubborn and stuck on my stories until they are done, and, like I said, rewrite requests put me on the spot and make me nervous!

Good Luck!

Aaron Polson said...

I definately sweat shorts more than longer work. I think I might be losing the love for the short story, too.

Do the rewrite. Shelve the shorts for a while. I want to see what happens with Little Sparrow.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jeremy--I've got so many abandoned stories on my harddrive it's silly. I don't generally abandon novels like that.

Aaron--Little Sparrow is turning out a lot darker than I expected, and a lot more interesting as a result. I just love all the character development novels have room for. That's more my strength than plotting, and short stories are much more plot driven, seems like.

Catherine J Gardner said...

From reading your posts, you definitely strike me as more of a novel gal - and I am supremely jealous.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I sweat short stories. At least I have little confidence in mine. Mostly because I have a heck of a time selling them. Flash I feel confident with and I will agree, there is something about a book length piece that is refreshing. Good luck with the rewrite.

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate--I'm jealous of how easy you make short story writing seem!

Jamie--Somehow flash is easier for me too, and as a result I tend to think flash pieces don't "count." Which is goofy!

Jamie Eyberg said...

Half of my sales have been flash.

K.C. Shaw said...

Mine too, I think. There seem to be more markets for flash, for one thing.

BT said...

You should always write what you enjoy.

I suggest working with the editor and finish the rewrite, and then enjoy yourself. Ask the editor what type of thing they are after if they haven't given you an idea already. A rewrite means they want to publish your story so get their input.

There is absolutely no point in putting yourself through torment for something you don't gain enjoyment from. Go back to your longer work. I have little doubt that an impulse to write a short will crop up later on.

Continuing to struggle would be like listening to Korean Boy Bands when you prefer NickleBack - sorry Nat.

K.C. Shaw said...

I think I'm most worried that I can't deliver on this story. I'm frankly bored silly with the world, the characters, and the events--and yet I've got to keep going back to them. I think in the future I will think twice before agreeing to write a story using such specific guidelines (in this case, characters from Jack of All Trades for a themed anthology).

But yes, I definitely intend to write what I enjoy after this. That may or may not include short stories, but it will definitely include lots of novels!