I used to hate writing short stories. In fact, only a couple of months ago I was writing about how restricting I found them; but now I think I’ve finally got it.
I think the problem came from wanting to write a novel-sized story every time I sat down to write, and I realise that you’d have to be very articulate to manage that in as little as five-thousand words; then there were the competitions that I’d often want to enter, but my stories were still too long – they had word-limits of only two-thousand words! How the hell am I going to fit all of that information into that small a space!
But then I realised that you didn’t need to. All you needed to do was write so that every word struck a blow right where you needed it. Simple. Or not. But that is where the joy lies.
So, yes, my short stories are shorter than novels, and they take less time to write, but time spent per word is probably far greater than when I am writing a larger body of work. I now find myself deliberating over the smallest of points, trying to find ways of delivering the ideas in a concise and lean way. This not only leads to better writing, but it leads to a better thought process altogether.
They are a nice change to a novel, and a different canvas to paint on; but as I am now understanding, they are just as important an exercise as anything else in writing.
That’s it for now.