Saturday, March 26, 2011

Short Story Writing 2011

I have written my first short story in two years. The last time I wrote a story was in March 2009. It is called "Vines". I recently re-read that story and cringed. The idea was good, the execution, not so good. I don't remember really editing it, so I'm sure I could get it to be much better.

The story I wrote this week is entitled "The House Began to Shake". It was for a WVU class. I have been up at nights trying to figure out what I'm going to write about. I started it and then changed my mind, I had a bad case of writer's block. But then I decided to just write and see what comes out. I'm not disappointed in it. I actually read it over and cried. I cried at my own story, good lord.

My mind is racing because I have been reading a lot about short story writing. It is such a different animal than novel writing. And to make matters worse, they want this story in 1st person. I'm not a 1st person writer, I can write in 1st person, although I prefer to write in 3rd person. This was tricky since the protagonist dies 2/3 of the way through the story, now how does one narrate dead? Think "The Lovely Bones".

I managed to get most of the adjectives and adverbs out. To my count there are only 2, they are both adverbs though, however, sometimes you just need that one to get your point across. I mean, when you are a sixteen year old girl, and you grab a huge man, you better grab him "gently".

I still have trouble with the "Show don't Tell" concept. I think most of the story is shown, except in part II where it gets a little narrat-y (made up word) in the first three paragraphs. I have until Tuesday to work this out.

The story limit is 2,500, I top out at the moment at around 1,600+. So I have some room to play with it.

I also am to write another short story starting next week for another class at WVU. I won't be up late at night thinking about this one as I already have this story mapped. Hopefully I can get it down on paper the way I see it in my mind. And then come the critiques, I'm sure they'll be brutal.