Tortured by Novels

I am a short story writer.  The thing is that if you are not a short story writer this is a difficult concept to understand.  The only thing I can equate it to is music.  You find the instrument that you consider to be your voice.  I can play both the violin and viola very well but I consider myself to be a violist.  It’s my instrument.  It’s me.

The same goes for short stories.  The precise, compact writing style is my voice.  It’s me.  Even before I started writing my brain would constantly think of new ways to streamline the story I was reading.  And now that I’ve been writing for a few years the problem is even more pronounced.  It’s aggravating for me to read long, drawn out sections in a novel that serve no purpose whatsoever.

Is it really necessary for the heroine to be looping around in her head why she can’t be with the hero a FOURTH time?  We know their issues.  Address the issues.  Maybe readdress the issues to remind the reader.  And then move on!

What’s even more aggravating to me is that I’m haunted by the idea of writing a novel.  I mean, they sell way better than a short story.  Why do I put myself through the agony of writing story after story when I could just spend the time making one LONG story that may actually sell?

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve mentally succumbed to the novel’s siren’s song.  I sit down thinking: “This will be the story that I’ll turn into a novel.  I’ll drag out all the scenes.  I’ll pad all the descriptions.  The works.”

I write the story with this mindset.  And then it ends up being a 12,000 word novelette.

So I give up!  I’m tired of being tortured by novels.  If one happens to come out of my brain, that’s great.  But in the meantime I am resolved to be content with my short story existence.

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4 thoughts on “Tortured by Novels

  1. I so agree. I’ve written four novels, which I enjoyed doing, but there is something about the short story that just works in my head. It frustrates me that they don’t sell. I love writing them because of their challenge. Nice post.

    • Thank you! It’s such an uphill slog it seems. But I have spoken with people that make a very healthy income from nothing but short stories. So it seems my only hope right now is to tough it out and keep publishing more =/

  2. Viva la short stories! I love reading short stories, and novellas/novelettes. Some of my favorite writers may write novels but most of them also publish in short form. So I’m glad you’re sticking to what’s natural for you, with Kindle (at least) there’s definitely a market for them.

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