I’m having the time of my life with Serial Central. There are some truly wonderful stories there and those of you who have not had the time to see it should make the time.
No. The shameless plug is not over. For now it’s time for me to talk a little about the story I am sharing over there. (If you would like to read the premise, please CLICK HERE. If you would like to read Part One, please CLICK HERE.)
The idea behind Serial Central is to share our short stories with the blogging community. The stories are posted serially (ha! get it?) to make it more fun and to receive better feedback on the writing. It’s easier to comment constructively and thoroughly on a small piece of writing rather than the story as a whole.
So as I’m writing “Ensnared” I’m feeling great. Everything is going well. I’m making the pre-proposed word count (more or less) and I’m thinking the story will take about twelve weeks.
Well. Clearly that won’t work. I’m not yet finished writing it, but I’ve only just completed Part Seven and I’m not even at the halfway point! What I thought was a short story is turning into a long story. Then I started going WAY over the word count we decided on and had to cut back. This now requires adding more parts to allow the story to develop completely. I can’t have things go too fast, even for a short story. Now it seems the finished product will turn out to be 20,000 words to be revealed over a series of twenty weeks.
Indeed my friends, the short story has become a novella. It’s even on an official word counter -thing (ok, so it’s not official but it displays the general rule of thumb).
How did this happen? I was so proud of myself for finally being able to write a short story and now it turns out that it’s not really a short story.
The answer is, I’m too creative. That’s right. I think of far too complicated plots and twists and what-have-you and it just all can’t happen to my poor characters in 8,000 words. (Disclaimer – I am not saying those who CAN accomplish this feat are less creative than I. On the contrary, I am praising you for your superior plotting discipline).
Or the opposite can happen to me. I will only image snippets of short scenes in my head but have no story to which I can attach them. So they float around on their own for a while until I finally cave and just write them and wind up with some very short flash fiction.
I suppose I just do things in extreme (if you would like to see physical evidence of that, please CLICK HERE and check out my second blog At Large in London to see how my packing is going). I can’t just write a short story of average length. It has to be a novel/la or short short short short short story.
How do you know what your idea will turn out to be? What tells you “This is a short story!” or “Hey I’m totally a novel” or “I’m just so darn cute, make me flash fiction!” ????