Sunday, September 23, 2007

The longer I write

short fiction the less I know about the form.


I've been writing short stories since I was five, which makes it coming on to thirty years in December. I think the first story I ever wrote that was any good was my first sale, a story called Threnody to Eidolon way back in 1994. Since then I feel that I've managed to get a handle on basic story structure, which is only useful some of the time, but that is all.


I know that some stories take me a day to write, and that others take a decade, and that sometimes the stories that come out in a burst are better than the cellared-fictions, and sometimes they're worse.


I know that I can't recognise if a story I've written is good or bad, until it's in print, and that I'm fond of all my stories - even the shockers - but I don't expect other people to be fond of them, and am usually surprised if they are.


I rarely know I've finished a story, until I've written past the ending.


I rarely start at the beginning, the beginning is usually somewhere in the middle.


Quite often I miss the two previous understandings (until the story is in print).


I'm never ruthless enough. Even when I write short, it is usually too long.


I'm far too fond of whimsy*. Neither of which have any relevance when it comes to understanding the form, but a little when it comes to understanding me. The same can be said for my less than regular syntax. Must watch those run on sentences.


Sometimes all I know about short stories is that they're short.


I certainly don't trust people who tell me they know how to write short stories.


One of the happiest moments of my writing life was when someone told me that I story I wrote made them cry(not once, but twice, on separate readings) and I had never met them before.


I've really only just started writing novels, so novels, yeah, I know all about writing novels.


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