All right blogosphere, twitterverse, facebookers…enlighten me.
Short stories. Explain.
No, seriously. With my draft still out there, I have been spending some time toying with ideas for Book 2 (and, um, Book 3), but I realize that this is the perfect opportunity for me to be working on some unrelated shorter fiction and seeing what happens. The problem is that, aside from the ghost story I posted on here (which I am admittedly very happy with) I really do find shorts to be a challenge.
I think the main issue stems from the fact that I am essentially a pantser when it comes to writing. My outlines are always extremely vague, if I have them at all. Yes, this does lead to the occasional crisis when I realize that I either don’t know what’s happening next or don’t know how to get to the next part I know is just beyond the wall. But I can’t do that with short stories. With such a word count limitation, I don’t feel I can just sit down and let my imagination take over. I have to know not only where it is headed (the ending) but exactly how it’s going to get there.
Endings are perhaps the largest part of that struggle for me. How do you know when to stop? Where does it end? Some of the short stories I’ve read have endings that leave me breathless. I want to be able to do that! Can I? Maybe?
Yes. I’m sure I can. I’m sure I can do this. That being said, I’d still appreciate hearing your experiences, frustrations, successes and advice.
So, please, discuss. How long do yours tend to be? Is there a common, general length? How do you know where to end them? How do you stop yourself from going on (and on and on?)