Monday, March 5, 2007

What to do?

What to do?
So here I am, supposed to be working on a short story for the Writers of the Future contest. I've got a couple of starts, a little work done, but nothing I'm really confident of. The thing is, I'm not really happy with either of the possibilities I've been working on. Part of it is that I'm way out of practice in short form writing. In the past nine or ten months, I've written two novels, and it's a length and style I'm comfortable with. Shorter works seem incomplete to me.

I feel troubled by the lower depth of character development made necessary by writing short stories. I tried to approach it as a scene, a novel chapter, but that's not working. I can write a scene, but the reader really won't know the characters as well as I'd like, and that bothers me.

Another thing that bothers me is the fact that I'm itching to get started on book 3 of the Gatehouse series. I've got a good, solid idea for what I want to happen, and I'm dying to get the outline for it off the ground and get back into the writing. If I were working on that, rather than on a short story that I don't have a solid, comfortable, and workable idea for, then I'd be churning out four thousand words a day and feeling great.

But if I do that, I feel like I'm falling into a trap. You see, I love the Gatehouse, and I believe in the books and their sale-ability. But they haven't sold yet! I've written two novels, found an agent, and I'm being considered by publishers, but I haven't sold the books! So if I take a month and a half and write the third book, there's a possibility that I'll be working on something that's not going to go anywhere. I don't even want to consider that possibility, because I've invested so much of myself into the books, but that's the reality. And even if I sell the book, or even the whole series and get a three book deal, that third book is three or four years off from publication.

As a writer, I want to branch out, tell other stories, and I know I have them in me. But I just can't get to them right now because I'm so involved with the Gatehouse.

The two story ideas I've been working on are solid, good ideas. But they have the potential to become more than short stories. They have the potential to become novels themselves, even series. And I'd probably be more comfortable writing them as such. But my goal in this is to get some writing credits under my belt, maybe get a short story or two published, maybe even a win or an honorable mention in a writing contest. And I can't do any of that if I write them as novels.

UGH! It's frustrating. I used to write short fiction all the time, way back in the old days. I was far more comfortable with shorter work then. The only thing for it is to do it. I guess I should just ask you all to wish me luck.

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