Making Progress on the Short Story and More Thoughts on Short Story Versus Novel Writing

Managed 1.5K on the “Kiyohime” short story yesterday. It’s coming along well. Think I’m around the halfway point. Got the whole story outlined and plotted out, including the twisty bit which was annoying the heck outta me, and getting close to the climax scene. At this rate, I might have it at zero draft before month’s end.

It’s a little weird working on a whole new story after slaving away at the novel for so long. Having to reset my story/character head-space to get it out of my novel’s world. And I keep having the itch to return to my novel’s characters and continue their story.

That’s a brand new, shiny novelty for me. I’m accustomed to feeling done with a world and characters after finishing a short story. I’ve had folks ask me whether I was going to expand some of my short work into novels, and I had a hard time seeing the appeal of that. I mean, I told their tale, that’s it, the end. (‘Course, having said that, Demon Queller began life as the short story “Honor is a Game Mortals Play.” )

But I intentionally left room for continuation in the novel, and now I want to continue it. I see the virtue of being a novelist with an ongoing series. The characters and their world become fundamentally ingrained in your creative consciousness, and you don’t need to be constantly rebuilding new worlds and new people–although, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of appeal in that too.

‘K, I get it. Writerly revelation, la. And I thought I was past those. Hah. The cosmos calls “hubris” on me yet again.

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8 Responses to Making Progress on the Short Story and More Thoughts on Short Story Versus Novel Writing

  1. Adam Lowe says:

    Excellent point, Eugie. They are different impulses, and it takes a while to exorcise one before you can move onto the next. However, I do like writing both short stories and novels. There’s an elegance to the short story that the novel doesn’t have, and conversely a sprawling space in a novel that really allows you to explore nuance and detail.

    Good luck with the short story!

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  3. Shae Connor says:

    One of my biggest issues with the current novel is that I keep getting attacked by plotbunnies for the sequel. Of course, one of those is going to end up in this book after all, so it’s not all bad. :)

    I have found myself having to break things up a little by working on a couple of shorts when I’m all written out on the novel for the day. I’m really not good at focusing on just one story at a time, no matter what I’m working on!

  4. Janice Clark says:

    The problem with novels is those characters you’ve created in your head just refuse to roll over and play dead. They want to come out and play.

  5. Eugie Foster says:

    Writers: People who tell the voices in their heads to “speak up, please.” :D

  6. Wish you all the best……..:D

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  8. Sonia says:

    I am working on a short story and a novel at the same and I thought switching back and forth between the two felt odd. lol But sometimes it good, getting away from one set of characters to another set.

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