Short or Long?

Unfortunately, my short story Off-Buttons did not make the grade for the next issue of Interfictions Online.

The good news is I can put it back up on here for everyone else to enjoy should they wish 🙂

I sometimes think I miss writing short stories. They are such a wonderful little breed. I love their snapshot-nature and love how powerful it can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing my novels. Novels are like a huge four-poster bed with piled-up pillows and a thick duvet on a winter evening: something you dive into, wrap yourself in and feel on ever inch of your skin, breath in the smell and cover yourself and fill yourself with.

Short stories are like an empty chair at a busy railway station, something you grab as soon as you see and revel in the moment it gives you away from everything else. It’s gone almost as quick as it came but for the time you were in it, you were in a different place.

I do wonder where my ideas come from for some of the short fiction I’ve done. I wonder if I will ever come up with similar things again since recently it’s been sprawling, epic affairs with tangled character development, world-wide politics and slow-building tension and action. I wonder if I came back to short fiction whether I could produce a snapshot again in the same way.

But then all I have to do is let my mind wander. It dithers off somewhere else, contemplates ideas and then starts asking questions, and I know that my fiction, long and short, has never been something I have written for the sake of it. I have written it because I love it and I need it. It comes from inside me and there is no feeling I have yet to experience that compares to having a finished piece of work you are proud of.

Even if no one else ever reads it, even if people do and don’t like it, the process is enough for me and there’s nothing else quite like it.

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12 Responses to Short or Long?

  1. Sorry to hear about Off-Buttons. I hope the reviewers gave some worthwhile feedback about it =)

    You are exactly right. You have to write for the love of it first. Over time, the skills will improve to the point that people notice. Your work is commendable already =)

    • jcollyer says:

      Thanks, D 🙂 They didn’t give me feedback, it just ‘wasn’t right’ but that’s fine, I don’t mind. The scale of that website they must get thousands of submissions. It was worth a try.

      And thank you, that is very kind. I hope your work is still going well!

      • That’s a shame. “Wasn’t right” does not really help you improve the areas where they thought there was room for it.

        A few ongoing projects. Refocusing on world-building for ‘Big Project’, finishing off ‘Sayeh and Zia’ and then the big dog: NaNoWriMo 2013.

      • jcollyer says:

        Of course! That is fast approaching :O if I get this thing I’m working on done in time, maybe I’ll try and do the sequel for NaNoWriMo. It would all tie in rather nicely since my deadline for the first thing is mid-way through October.

        Have you got an entirely new idea lined up for it?

      • The convenience is a sign =)

        My original idea was an epic historical fantasy fiction based in the Mongol-ruled portion of Persia of the late 1500’s. Can’t go wrong in the action stakes with Mongols, Persians, Crusaders, Assassins and Muslims all in close proximity =)

        The idea I mentioned in my post last night seems to have some good legs (must be the pumps!). Based in the Reapers’ War of 1640-1659 in North-East Spain, a boy grows through the years from a naive enlistee to a general at the end of the war.

      • jcollyer says:

        That all sounds amazing! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to clone ourselves so we can work on everything we wanted at the same time? Or just to write for a living, that wouldn’t be bad either 😄

      • Might have to hit up Professor McGonagall for that time-turner she let Hermione borrow =P

        Writing for a living would indeed be awesome. You’re a bit further along the path, having submitted a few pieces for consideration. That takes a decent level of intestinal fortitude =)

      • jcollyer says:

        I’m very lucky in that I’m a little blaze about submitting work. It still hurts to get purely negative feedback (as in the sort of stuff that’s not constructive and unhelpful), but in general I enjoy writing so much that the producing of the work is the main pleasure for me. It might go somewhere, it might not, I might get the oportunity to make it better or it might be a lost cause, but if I’ve enjoyed it that’s the biggest achievement made and it’s still progress on the journey. Sending your babies out there into the world is scary though. If I ever get a novel our there and it gets a bad review on amazon, check back with me then and see if I’m still whistling to the same tune. I hope so, but I won’t know for sure until it happens! Going to enjoy the rose-tinted period whilst it lasts.

      • Unconstructive criticism is a pain and a bit ego-denting, but even those feedbacks are motivation to keep improving your skills. A teflon ego is required in some cases =\

        I eagerly await a story of yours on Amazon!

      • jcollyer says:

        Likewise 😀

      • Haha, thanks but my appearance on Amazon as a published author is many a year off =)

  2. Pingback: Fellow Aspiring Writers for 23 July 2013 | D. James Fortescue

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