Short Stories Suck (The Life Right Out Of Me)

I’m all about writing novels. Short stories are wonderful when they work – nothing has more power than a concise, well-paced, powerful short. Take someone like Amy Hempel or John Updike or Raymond Carver. They write short fiction that makes me whimper. I marvel at technique and word choice. Theme resonates like a sharply, plucked guitar string. I feel almost more human when one of these stories gets things just right. Emotions rage. Literature can be affecting, even life changing. Yeah, short stories can be that powerful. As a reader I am intoxicated, but as a writer? Forget it. I feel about two inches tall.

(Jedi Masters)

Still, I try.

I’m currently struggling through four of the unruly beasts. Then I have to write two more and clean up another two that I have waiting for a final coat of paint. It’s definitely a love-hate thing. Sometimes I’m satisfied with what I come up with. I surprise myself with what comes out. On occassion. a line will really speak to me and I’ll think, damn, I wrote that? But then other times I’m just staring at a blank screen trying to come up with a story worthy enough to be written.

Writing, Loyal Reader, is a lot like painting. You get your initial sketch out and then you layer plot and theme and shadow and then you move this comma or that, you nitpick, you can’t let it go, you keep shifting and manipulating and bending things until they’re are just right.

(I want to write just like this)

Lately I’ve being dealing with a rampaging apeman, Satanic boyfriends sacrificing their girls to the beast, a shapeshifter trying to find love in a hotel for freaks, and Hispanic death matches for cash and prizes. These of course come from the aformentioned stories I’m slaving away on. Hopefully they will all find their shape and hit the highs and lows that I envision for them (and you). Then I can get back to novel writing until another project comes down the turnpike and runs me over.

I complain, but I love it.

My brain hurts, yet in the end I’ve managed to sculpt myself a nice piece of art. Chances are it’ll sell, and then everybody gets to read it, and the world turns a little faster, and then POOF! I am legion. Hail, hail, Loyal Reader. See you tomorrow.


One Response to “Short Stories Suck (The Life Right Out Of Me)”

  1. […] stories are so HARD (check a recent rant on them here). I sit there and churn the little suckers out, moving things, trying to find away to give these […]

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