May is Short Story Month. (Because the Internet says so, that’s why.) I know, I know, that sounds like an excuse to avoid my novel-in-progress. Happy Short Story Month, everyone! My novel? Oh, well, you know, it’s a LONG story.
But a month (or a season, or a lifetime) of writing short stories could just as easily be exactly what my novel writing needs.
Complement rather than competition
Check it out, I’m so serious about this I just used a header. And look: bullet points!
- I’ll be working on this novel for a very long time. Showing I can finish any story, whether from scratch or from the in-progress file, can only be good for my novel’s morale.
- I’ll be working on this novel for a very long time. Having some stories to submit for publication in the meantime is also good for morale.
- My novel sucks. But this story is pretty good. I especially like my way with plot/character development/setting/dialogue/whatever. Which gives me a great idea for the next chapter of the novel…
- This story sucks. Especially the plot/character development/setting/dialogue/whatever. I’m just going to set this aside for a while and get back to the novel, where at least I kind of seem to know what I’m doing.
- I don’t feel like writing. Well, maybe just that one great/weird/fun story that doesn’t feel like work. Hmm, why isn’t my novel great and fun? (The weird goes without saying.) It could be. It should be. What if I…
- I don’t feel like writing. Well, maybe just that one great/weird/fun story that doesn’t feel like work. Yeah? Tough. Write x number of words on the novel. And when you’ve done your chore—and only then—you can go play with your little story.
Competition rather than complement
Interestingly (or not), the one area of my writing routine that has suffered during the first half of Short Story Month is my Twitter-length fiction. Lately when it comes to fiction no longer than 140 characters, I got nothing.
I guess that makes sense. After all, this month my motto is Short stories: expect big things.
Twitter: it’s not just for cannibalism anymore. I’ve also been writing lots of little stories about plastic surgery. You know what that means! More veggies!
It’s September, which means I’ve got two writing projects going: a novel, and 30+ flash fictions for “30 Days of Biking.” Today I made progress on both projects, despite a total lack of cannibalism and plastic surgery. (So far.)
Day 1 (1 bike ride) flash stories:
At Point A she’s the pest a tourist will Photoshop from a shot of Nice Ride bikes. An exterminator van waits at Point B.
My head swells in its helmet. The bike rider just ahead of me is bareheaded. There are fractured skulls (ha ha!) tattooed on the backs of his arms. I smile at them while we wait at the intersection. When the green light comes, it hits me like kryptonite: Ouch! Between triceps and self-righteousness, I’ve got weak spots where a helmet is no help at all.
I joined Twitter less than three weeks ago, and since then I’ve caught myself writing at least three (fiction) tweets with a cannibalism theme. Thaumatrope published one of them, which is cool, but I’m going to hang onto the others for now. Purely in a transparent attempt to appear well-balanced. In the meantime, I will give you stories about…vegetables. Yeah, when I wrote yesterday’s post (in response to a Plinky prompt to write a 200-word story as fast as I could), I probably overcompensated by forcing the story to be about cucumbers.
Two more tweet-length stories published since my last post:
Other tweet-length stories tweeted at http://twitter.com/Shannon_Anthony.
And I don’t know if this is ironic, but now I really feel like reading a really fat novel.
You know, I’m thinking I’ll make a lot of progress on my “summer-project” novel as soon as conditions become less, what’s the word, summery. It’s been hot. I haven’t exactly been on fire. Hot. Hot. Hot. And the humidity.
So I wasn’t kidding last week about the tweet-length fiction. There are markets for the stuff, you know. With editors and websites and everything. A few days ago escarp published this very very short and quite untitled fiction.
My design for Twitter’s “over capacity” screen
So I’d been hearing funny things about the whatcha the kids are calling it these days. Very good, if very briefish things.
What a coincidence. I LOVE good and briefish things! e.g. writing. The briefer the writing is, the more of it I seem to do. If you follow.
And if you do follow, thanks (if you follow) for the follow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still take whatever little bit of inspiration I can get, wherever I can get it. #plinky
But there’s a lot to be said for even teenier eenier ittier bittier bits of inspiration.
Actually, a lot really can’t be said. Which is totally the point.
Yeah, so I’ve already written, like, a twizillion flash stories this week!!!! #procrastination @Shannon_Anthony