Ten Things About Short Fiction

I'm headed out on a fourteen hour drive from Texas to Illinois today, with Uno and Dos as my roadtrip buddies, so we can offer support to my mom as she goes in for surgery tomorrow.

Time for a post is scarce, so here is my slim 10 Things for Tuesday post of the week -- all about my most recent writing experience.

  1. Writing short fiction is hard, you guys. I'm not sure I'm very good at it. This week's story had a goal of 2000 words, which I skipped right over, ending at 2,002. Not what I had intended.

  2. Also, the story is not what I had intended. With a pretty tragic news article as my inspiration, and some specific thoughts about growing up in constant turmoil, I sought to tell the story of one character but ended telling the story of another.

  3. Where did I stumble? I became so caught up in researching the culture of the girl I wanted to write about, that I panicked and felt my story would not be authentic enough since I don't actually know what it is like to grow up bi-racial.

  4. I wrote five different versions of this story.

  5. In the end, I began with a new perspective on a similar character that would still end in the same way. Because I could draw somewhat from my own past, I found this story much easier to envision. 

  6. I'm still not completely happy with the way this story is organized. I needed to build reader compassion for my main character, and found it incredibly difficult to do in only 2,000 words. While I think I avoided the dread info dump, I'm not certain it's a completely balanced story.

  7. Dialogue -- still not my thing. Not surprising, since I have sub-zero social skills, however I must find a way to work on this.

  8. The Husband, as always, sat and listened and gave awesome feedback. I don't know how I would accomplish anything without him as my first and most trusted reader.

  9. I also struggle in the little details -- how people move, what is happening around two people while they're immersed in conversation -- all those little things. While I've been told quite often that I paint a vivid story life that people can sink into, I notice so many holes that need filling.

  10. Next week our 5,000 word story is due. I have my idea ready, and am hoping a little of what I learned in the last story will help guide me through this one with less struggles.

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