My Journey into the Short Story World

Short stories… when I first realized I had the opportunity to be a part of a fabulous anthology, Once Upon the Longest Night, I figured, “Hey, I can do this. No prob, man.” I mean, I’m no stranger to writing. I’ve been doing this for close to ten years, and have written four books in that time (though none have been right for the publishing world during their times). So with that experience behind me, I signed on to create, write, and revise my first post-baby venture back into the writing world.  

Lemme tell ya… whoever said there was a certain finesse to writing a damn good short story was incredibly right. 

For the novel writer, creating a smaller plot can be incredibly difficult. Because we’re trained to expand on that plot with subplots. And to ensure the characters are challenged by both internal and external elements. With a target word count between 60-100k, this is all totally doable, right? 

Well, with short stories you have less word space. WAY less. 

For this project, we were given between approx 7-20k. Knowing that it’s like my writer brain short-circuited. Literally. Cause I let myself get intimidated by the thought of having to write something that was not only acceptable to my editor but also fabulous. And build my plot around the theme: the Winter Solstice. That intimidation led to the biggest case of writer’s block of my life. So big that I struggled for weeks to come up with a decent plot. Then another few weeks to get my 9k word goal drafted.

Now that everything is said and done and the anthology’s release is next week *gasp* I can look back on this experience and realize the why and how of where I went wrong. Not only that, but I can list five lessons from this experience that I will build upon while drafting another short in 2019. 

And the best part? 

I can not only list five lessons, but I can say with 200% certainty that they are spot-on areas where I either went wrong or right in this process. 

So stay tuned cause in my post next week, on release day–Friday the 21st–I’m going to share with the same short story tips I’ll follow in 2019 as I write and attempt to publish another short story. And not only that, I’m going to give away THREE ebooks of the Once Upon the Longest Night anthology that has the short story from which I’m sharing my experience. *smiles* 

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Copyright 2018 by Melinda S. Collins