Short Fiction Trials

I'm writing a short story.

No really. I am.

I have a checkered history with short form. Mostly I think my problem is that I don't have a reflex for short integrated plots. I'm big picture enough, and have enough to say with/about master narratives that I can handle novel-sized plot with various tips and turns, but in the short form it's harder to move all the pieces through a plot and still write something recognizable as fiction.

This is all very funny in a sense, because one of my enduring academic interests is how people construct and make sense of their "life history." And yet, knowing a fair piece about this, writing stories is something that I'm forever tripping up on.

The truth is that, the kinds of stories that people actually tell about their lives, what really happens, and what would be interesting in the context of a story are all so radically different from each other as to be not recognizable as the same sort of thing. I remember once thinking "you know, getting a degree in psychology will help my writing as I learn about how people work;" I'm not sure if I believe it any more, but it's sort of moot.

Even though I struggle with it, I still continue to try to write shorter fiction. The best reason for this is the fact that short fiction can be more topical, more in the moment because from inception to publication can be a few months, where as getting a novel from inception to the reader in less than a year (or 3) is pretty fast. Not to mention that short work is easier to entice people to your work, participation in critique groups is easier, publication is easier.

So I keep trying.


A bit about this specific story. I'm working on a series of linked stories and vignettes in a new setting that I haven't exactly talked a lot about here. It is to be the first body of work that I'm writing specifically for the new fiction site. The world is fun, and writing the primary character is a lot of fun, but this piece explores something "earlier" and is narrated quite differently, so it's good for me, but tough.

This writing stuff. It's tough.

Ok, I'm done. Back to work and real writing.

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