I’ve been writing shorter stories as of late. Some might think that doing a 16 part story has made me eager to do something shorter and less complex. It is sort of the opposite actually. Having a 16 part story to do every day gave me a reason to write every day. It kept me in constant fiction mode which I prefer to blogging most days. Once that story was done, I had all these writing muscles that I didn’t want to ignore.
Most of the short stories I have written lately were ideas lurking in my notebook that I never developed. They were story ideas that were missing some element or detail that I thought they needed. I haven’t had a rash of genius that let me fix those issues as much as I have developed a zero tolerance attitude towards letting those problems stop me. Those missing elements are still there but I am learning how to better ignore them.
Back in the day when I wrote for Usenet, I despised Flash Fiction. The rules for Flash varied but it was something like less than 500 words or sometimes less than 100 words. I didn’t see the fucking point. I love characters and plot and to me Flash had neither. Now look at me. I’m whipping these things out and I am not sure if it is because I am older and wise or because I am far less discriminating with my own work.
I think part of why I am leaning towards these really short stories is the way blogging puts a limit on attention spans. My favorite blogs rarely spend more than a page on a post. They know that people don’t read one blog a day, they read through a list. People have a list of things to read and one really good 8 page story is not in their time budget. If it really hooks them, or they really love the author, they will make the time but for the casual reader, time is a commitment not made lightly.
So I think it is a good thing to write something really small that does it’s job and lets the reader go. I think the trick becomes writing something memorable. I was visiting some old links and I saw bloggers that I remember liking, but I couldn’t remember why exactly. I couldn’t name the story or post that had hooked me.
I still like longer stories. One day I will figure out how to do that Nancy Drew style novella I want to do. I’m still pecking away at the BDSM fairy tale adaptation that seems so obvious. This weekend I am going to take another crack at a Librarian story. Just in the meantime, these short stories keep me flexing the fiction muscles that I think separates me from most other sex bloggers.