I have completed a new short story. It hit me a few days ago, and I came off the novel I have been writing since September to make this new idea materialize. Not to give spoilers, but it is my first Science Fiction piece. The tale involves the future of social media.
I love writing short stories because there is no room to worry about anything except the “Wow” factor. Setting descriptions, structuring, and character development happen at hyper speed, exposed on the run if you will, and the story jumps out at the reader (if you do it well).
In fairness, novel writing is a longer, more “loving” process, no less enticing for the author, just different. There is still the immediacy scene by scene, but there is an overall linking mechanism one has to keep aware of, plot-thread to thread, foreshadowing to payoff. In paraphrase, Stephen King once called short stories affairs and novels marriages. I have found however, that those “marriages” can be wonderful, mysterious experiences, since I never outline. While that may be like jumping off a cliff and hoping for a hang glider, it keeps things exciting. I might have something in chapter three that I find a use for in a different context in chapter twenty-nine. And the fact that I didn’t necessarily see it until later in the process might indicate it won’t be telegraphed to the reader either! While short stories are M-80’s we all love for the pop and roar, novels are fireworks displays requiring intricate preparation.
I came off the novel-in-progress ‘Dead Red’ last week because there was an idea I had that hit me with the kind of force ‘How Bria Died’ had when I conceived it back in 2007. Time to light the M-80. The new short story is called ‘Soul Text,’ and I look forward to seeing where I might place it.