I wrote a short story. I was talking about it last week, wondering if I remembered how to do the little tricks that make a short story work since I’ve been so focused on novels the last few years. The obvious difference between writing a short story and writing a novel is the word length. My novels run about 100,000 words. This short story was only allowed to be 6,000 words.
There are a *lot* of similarities in tackling the writing of both lengths of stories: world building, characters we can connect with, conflict, tension, resolution, a fresh twist or take on the subject matter. Except a short story has to do all that stuff in a lot less space…without looking like it’s hurrying along or making the reader feel like they’re missing anything.
With novels, there’s a sort of broader-brush flow to making the words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters work together to carry the reader though the story. With short stories, I will cut one word and replace it with another so I can save myself a sentence worth of explanation. That kind of tighter attention to word wrangling is great fun…a lot like a puzzle or logic game that you know has an answer if you just keep turning it this way and that.
In any case, this short story is titled, LIFE BETWEEN DREAMS, and it’s set in a story universe I’m fiddling with for fun. When my brother asked me what the story was about, I explained it to him. He stared at me a moment then said, “Are you sure that’s not a book?” 🙂 Trust me, it’s a short story, but the world does have potential for more stories to come out of it. Who knows? Maybe if readers really like it, I’ll see what else that universe wants to offer up.
Readers will be able to get their hands on LIFE BETWEEN DREAMS, in April. More news on that (and links to the anthology where the story will appear) soon.