“Writing a short story should be easier.”
My favorite aunt made this statement when I told her I was working on a new short story. My response to her was, “Not really.” I explained to her simply because a short story contains fewer words, it doesn’t make it easier. In fact, for me, it proved to be a greater challenge.
Getting my feet wet with short stories began after my first experience with NaNoWriMo. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days was a thrilling experience. Afterward, I decided I wanted to write more stories and maybe even be published one day. I began writing short stories in order to enter the contest world as well as to submit some stories to magazines.
Initially, I felt I wouldn’t be able to make a short story as memorable as a full manuscript. How could readers fall in love with my characters, if I didn’t have time to develop them? All of those quirks I had in mind for my characters, but there was no time to express the quirks. How could I establish a setting with rolling hills and the glorious autumn leaves, if I was limited to so few words? What about my main character’s friends, readers would think my main character was a hermit. There was no time to introduce the friends to the readers.
I learned quickly, every word had to count. Every sentence had to advance my plot and move my character toward his or her goal. This was hard. I began to question why I decided to write short stories.
While writing the first story I felt I had bitten off more than I could chew, until it came time to edit. Writing a short story was time consuming, but when it came to editing, it felt like a walk in the park compared to a full manuscript. That’s where my love for the short story began. Several months later, one of my short stories was published. It wasn’t easy to write, but the end result sure felt good.