A Short Hit

Quote: ‘ Ohh, there’s a blog post, I think’

I like writing short stories, I can’t say I’m any good, but I still like them.  I’ve loved reading them ever since I read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman over ten years ago.  Check it out.  I think it is the tighter structure and more of the implied within the story rather than a completely wrapped up, descriptive and fully explained tale.  I like to be made to think and a lot of short stories do that.  It is a different genre, a honed skill not a quick way of knocking out an idea rather than hitting the keys day and night slaving over a novel.  Also, publishers aren’t fans, or so they say.  Apparently, it’s harder to sell a short story because people want value for money. 

Even so, I have seen a rise in interest in shorts recently.   I think if there was ever a time to write them it is now;  People have less and less time on their hands, shorts are a perfect length for tube and train journeys and the younger generations live in an instant fix society.  The rise of the internet, kindle and other such gadgets offer the opportunity for all ‘writers’ (yes, the inverted commas are there on purpose) to self-publish.

The quick fix is one I’m familiar with.  It comes in liquid form: coffee.  My daily skinny cappuccino punctuates my tea fuelled day bringing an instant hit.   A writer friend of mine had just found her love of short stories and it has roused my interest in them again.  I have gone even shorter by writing flash fiction.  Tighter and even more restricted, every word really counts.  No room for waffle, as I am so prone to.  Nette and I have been emailing our shorts back and forth offering critique.  It also seems that we are providing each other with a little excited motivation. 

We are relishing these short stories and entering competitions seems like a good idea too.  In one of our email chats we comment on our new ventures and how excited we feel; I state that I think it is because of the adrenaline rush: an instant hit.  Ohh, there’s a blog post, I think.  Working on something different and creating something in a short space of time is similar to the instant hit of caffeine in my skinny cappuccino.  Like caffeine, short stories can offer a spark and assist in keeping you interested and to spur you on in your other writing projects too. 

I recommend giving it a go.  Read and write shorts, it might spur you on if you are having a bit of the old writers’ block or feel that you are stuck in a clichéd rut.    

If you would like to read Nette’s blog go to: http://www.nettehargreaves.com

One thought on “A Short Hit

  1. I love the coffee comparison – so true! And also the instant fix society – I do think it’s true that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter all the time. Continuing with the theme, I now have hair to match – short and dark!

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