Go short yourself

While I am searching for the story and characters in my next novel, I decided to do something new: short stories.

3000 words? Sheesh. I could write a 3000 word story with my smartphone. Easy as pie.

I should mention that I can’t bake worth a crap.

What I figured would be a day or so of thinking and writing turned into about a month worth of self-education and intense scrutiny. Shoving an entire character/story arc into 3000 words is not light work. This is especially true when my Inner Critic keeps trashing everything that gets typed up.

I should have taken the sage advice I read somewhere which was to just pound out an entire draft before making a single revision. Just hammer out the hamburger and get the story on the page. Spit it the #@*% out. Then go back and turn that 6593 word steaming pile of feces into a nice, tight <3500 word story.

I once shocked myself while changing out an electrical receptacle just to see what it felt like. That might explain a lot of things about me, but it also demonstrates that I’m the kind of guy that will take a bite of something my buddy tells me tastes horrible. Sea urchin, for example. True story. An even more telling thing about me is that I later discovered ultra-fresh sea urchin can be kinda tasty, meaning I was stupid enough to try that stuff more than once. I also learned that, when travelling to exotic locales, if you are enjoying what you are eating you might not want to ask what it is.

Of course I didn’t take the advice.

Next time, I’m barfing out a whole story before I even think about revision. Really. Promise.

(fingers crossed)

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