Ah, Short Stories
I do love writing short stories, particularly because I can just toss them off relatively quickly and easily. There’s a lot less planning to do. A lot!
I firmly believe that a novel starts at something like 50,000 words. Although I will be the first to admit that a lot of my thoughts in this area are directly related to participating in NaNoWriMo.
Then it gets a bit trickier.
So, evidently a novella is supposed to be somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 words. Where the 40,001 – 40,999 word pieces fit in is anybody’s guess!
And what is interesting (to me, at least) is that this does not seem to take into consideration chapters. I don’t think short stories (usually) have chapters. But I am certain that novellas pretty much always will.
So, mainly because I really do not feel like creating yet another category, I am tossing my flash fiction together with the stuff that really belongs here. Apparently, flash is 500 words or fewer.
If you thought I wasn’t planning my short stuff, well, the flash is really something I do not plan. And of course that much is totally all right.
Do these stories really have any themes where you can categorize them in some manner? There are stories which I wrote for various iterations of The Longest Night Watch. As a result, you’ll see a number of stories where the underlying mood killer is Alzheimer’s disease. For other anthologies, there may be an LGBTQ+ element. Or there may be a cancer element.
But then there are those which I just plain wrote.
The Daily Prompt Short Stories
In 2020, I made an effort to write every single day. I took the alphabet and pulled a single prompt word out of thin air. All the word had to do was start with the correct letter. Then, once the 26 letters were out there, I had two choices. One was to just start over again. I did that when a quarter started, no matter what.
But the other thing I would do was write chapters for them. As a result, I have a number of multiple chapter works.
Are they good enough to go to a publisher or an agent?
Eh, maybe. More likely, I will cannibalize them for something longer.
Short Stories Are the Short Trips
I think if you can view creativity as a car, then the short hops are right here. The novels, of course, are the lengthy trips. Novellas are somewhere in between, like when you drive for a few hours and hang around somewhere (like a beach, maybe) but you don’t stay overnight. Flash, I would say, is the really short hops, like running errands.
What’s the gas in the tank?
Imagination. Prompts. NaNoWriMo, God love it. Observations. Plus all the other things which push me to write.
Time to turn the key.