Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Short Fiction

From facebook:
It's miserable outside, rain that is predicted to turn to wintry mix. I have to proof a story. 16,000 words. It just printed out. Even typeset, it occupies 42 pages. This may not sound like a lot, but today, with wintry mix outside the window, I am not in love with my fiction. Why are my stories so long? I'm going to write tiny, gem-like short stories of a few thousand words in the future. Maybe I'll switch to short-shorts. Or haiku.

I'm not entirely serious, by the way. Don't rush to reassure me. I just don't like proofreading. I'm not good at it, and I keep seeing sentences that need fixing, but it's too late.

I like the early stages of writing, the first draft when I look at blank paper or a blank computer screen and think, "I am going to write something fabulous. A work of genius. And it will be funny."

Every once in a while, I write a story that's in the range of 1,500 to 6,000 words. I think they are always folk tales. Though when I started getting published, 40 years ago or whenever, all my stories were 3,000-4,500 words and science fiction. These are lovely lengths. I wish I could get back to them more often.

The shorter a story is, the better it has to be, because there isn't room of mistakes. A novel can have chunks that don't really work. A novelette or novella can have some weaknesses. But a short story... No.

2 comments:

shinemine said...

Do you have any short stories available on Kindle or iTunes?

Eleanor said...

There's a short story collection - Ordinary People - available in Kindle. There are also a number of stories online. Just Google my name. I have a new collection of stories coming out in May - Big Mama Stories. I assume it will be available in Kindle and nook versions. The Big Mama stories vary from short to pretty darn long.