I've put Lharmell and The Harmings aside. Lharmell is on submission and I've written about 80% of The Harmings, book two in the trilogy. I don't want to steam too far ahead. It seems unwise as changes might need to be made. Ginger is reading what I've done of my standalone urban fantasy right now to see if it has potential. I'm very excited about it so I hope she thinks so!
So what's a writer to do? It seems silly to start a fourth novel when I'll only have to turn away from it in a matter of weeks. I'm hardly the world's biggest fan of the short story, for various reasons, but writing one seems to be a good way to fill in some time. (I've also just started a new hobby that I'm loving, inspired by some research I did for The Harmings. But more about that next week!) And really, how hard can a short story be for a novelist? 3000 words? Pfft. With eyes closed, my dears.
Uhhh...No. It's sending me batty. It's so hard! The plotting itself was a dream. I spent a day researching Norse mythology for some story ideas. I love getting inspiration from obscure fairy tales and myths. I found my chick, smooshed her story together with a few other stories I'd come across, added a liberal dose of poetic license to give it the sort of ending I was after and voila! An outline for an entire story in one very casual day.
The next day I started writing. I wrote the opening paragraph...over four hours. Then I had to eat a mighty slab of Christmas cake to soothe my jangled nerves. I don't know much about short stories, but I do know that word choice counts. Word choice always counts, of course. But in a novel, if I feel like describing an outdoor scene for two pages I bloody well will. Ain't gonna cut it in a short story, though. It's an interesting task, seeing with how few words I can set a scene. My lavish comma use has had to stop as well. I've turned into a veritable Gertrude Stein when it comes to punctuation. Not a semicolon in sight, and all short sentences.
Also, by the time someone picks up Lharmell in a book store it will have had an army of people to do its hair, make-up and lighting. It will be fierce! The short story, however, is just me. And maybe one or two friends pointing out my most glaring errors. Eep!
The current word count stands at 1,300, a woeful number considering that I'm not working at the moment. (Waitress for hire! Can carry three plates and almost never drops beer on people.) But they are 1,300 very well chosen words, and while the characterisation is still in its infancy, I'm liking how the world is shaping up. And I've got a scene for Mireyah's Fighting Scene Blogfest on Feb 1, yay! If you haven't signed up yet, do it here.
I planned to have the damned thing done by now to post here in three parts. Not gonna happen! Next week.
What do you find to be the differences between novels and short fiction? Readers and writers, opinions please!