Short Story Stress

Talk about a thin slice of suck.

I’d almost completed the first draft of my novel when something didn’t… feel right. The characters weren’t talking to me as much as they were staring at me with blank expressions on their non-existent faces. Time to step back, I thought to myself. Put things down, tuck the digital pages in a file somewhere and just let them sit. Peep them with fresh eyes a little later.

But I wasn’t ready to walk away from the world I’d created. I decided that maybe a short story, a sample taste of what was to come, might be a good idea. If it turned out to be successful enough, I could use it as a bonus giveaway for people who bought the eBook.

Besides, we’re talking a short story here. Five thousand words or so. How hard could that be?

Turns out, after banging my head against any flat surface I could find, that it’s not about the word count. It’s about making the words count.

It took several runs before I got something typed out that I could actually call a first draft. I finished it, read it, and then deleted it. But from the ashes of that story rose an idea, phoenix-style, that might not be too horrible. It may, possibly, fingers crossed, be worth a second draft.

Planning, it turns out, is a big help. Another big help is checking out this video created by Andrew Heath, which gives some great tips on writing that elusive short story.