I’ve been trying to develop a short story for the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. It’s harder than I thought, since I’ve been working almost exclusively on writing a novel for well, at least two or three years now.
I’ve found as a writer that working on a short story and working on a novel exercises two different types of “writing muscles.” I know, that’s pretty obvious. Short stories have to be completed in a certain amount of words (generally under 4 or 5K) while novels are much, much longer.
It’s become harder for me to switch back to short story mode. In a novel, you have to make the story more complex, while the short story has a limited amount of complexity that has to be resolved in a certain number of pages. I used to write short stories all the time. The stories had to be 750 words or less. I got used to learning how to pace the story and develop it in such a short amount of space.
I have to admit, I’m a bit out of practice 😛
I now know that if I want to be a successful writer, I need to make a habit of writing short stories. Not only will it help me fine tune my writing, but it’s also another way to get myself published and earn some credits before I start sending manuscripts out. It’ll be challenging, since my mind has been in novel mode for so long, but I’m certain I can do it.
Do you write short stories at all? If not, why? Is there anything holding you back?