Tag Archives: Short Story Month

Short Story Month: just what the novelist ordered

15 May

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.