In my continuing quest to help my new career, I picked up a “A Short Guide to Writing and Selling Fiction” last night. For the next month or so, I’m going to focus on the specific art of writing short fiction as a sort of bridge to strengthen my writing in general. I figure it can’t hurt to know more and I’d honestly like to have some short story publications under my belt when I start querying again. Or continue querying, hell, I don’t know. I just think it’s time to get better.
Expanding on what I said yesterday, my problem has always been grasping the point of short stories. It seemed like some s0rt of arcane ritual to me, the way that short story writers narrowed their stories down to a more concentrated form. Last night I think I finally grasped what I was missing. From that book:
In essence, that is what I was missing, or didn’t understand; I was trying to fit too many plot lines and ideas into what should have been a simple concept. Realizing this also helped me realize the major problem in the work right now: I’m trying to tell two stories in one. What I’m going to do instead is split out the story into two related stories, which will eventually be part of a cycle that I’ll write about this particular family. What’s funny is that Mary originally suggested this as a possible path, and now I think it’ll finally come to fruition over a year later.
So that is my focus for this week: split the stories out into two separate works, “This is for you, DC!” and “Collapse”. I think I’ll try to get TIFYD finished and submitted first.