Short Fiction Goals

I have never really considered myself a short story person. I'm not really very good at writing on that scale, and for most of my life I've never been particularly good at reading that literature.

In a lot of ways, I think 2008 will be/is the year that I decide if I can make a go of this "writing" thing. I mean I think it'll take longer than a year to decide if I've been successful at this writing thing, but I think in a year and some change I can decide if it's something I want to do.

So you might think, given this that I would have made some sort of new years resolution to write a certain number of words every day or week, or to write a novel, or something. Instead, I resolved to keep a record of my reading, and by doing so I hoped that I would read more (though technically I didn't actually resolve to read more.) Which makes sense, at least to me. It's important to read, to be familiar with the literature of discourses you hope to participate, and after a very eccentric introduction to science fiction and fiction in general, not to mention several years of hiatus from the genre, I thought it would be good to spend some attention to this shortcoming.

And then there's the issue that I really don't grok short fiction very well. Or it is, at least not something that I'm drawn to. I like stories that draw me into their world, that ask me to think about an idea not simply in a "isn't this interesting," or "imagine the implications of this situation," but rather think about all of the possibilities that grow out of the journey/story of the characters in this setting.

So I bought Dozois/Stratham anthology `The New Space Opera <>`_ earlier this year and have read many of these stories, and I'm almost entirely caught up on Escape Pod, and I've been reading 365Tomorrows, and I have a stack of old SF magazines that I've been picking my way though.

And I still don't get it.

I mean, I can appreciate a story, and I can almost write a short story, [1] and I feel better about being able to speak intelgently about short stories (what people are doing, the mechanics, and so forth), but I don't get it. I'm going to keep reading short stories of course, but I think at this point, I'm going to stop guilting myself into reading more of them.

So there!

Onward and Upward!

[1]One of my problems is that I often forget that short stories don't have to be super short--I sometimes just assume that short stories have to be 2000 words or less--for example, it's not unusual for a short story to be about 6,000 words.
comments powered by Disqus