No; not the clothes sort. I look awful in them, but wear them on holiday if my legs are brown enough (cue fake tan). I'm talking about short stories.
While plotless and waiting, I've returned to short stories, and the sheer joy of completing something quickly*, and not being so emotionally involved, makes a wonderful change. I wrote a story on Friday, sent it to my (short story) agent on Saturday, and she replied on Sunday ("Thank you for sending your marvellous new story"). Okay, it may well not sell (it's a highly competitive market), but to get such quick, positive feed-back is a wonderful boost.
Talking of short stories, I've been reading some by Alice Thomas Ellis (by mistake I have to admit. I thought the book was a novel). Highly recommended..
*I realise that people who write literary short stories take a lot more time over them, and I respect them for that. But mine are for fun (mine and, I hope, the readers').
Monday, 24 January 2011
The joy of shorts
Posted by Frances Garrood at 12:00
Labels: Alice Thomas Ellis, Short stories
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Love writing short stories. They're so condensed and tight by nature. It's very liberating for me to sit down with nothing more than a small vision and a little time to put it on paper.ReplyDelete
Have you found using an agent for your short stories to be helpful, by the way? In the states, at least, most authors are discouraged from using agents for shorts, but I'll freely admit that I find the process of keeping up with the ever-shifting market exhausting and nearly impossible, and I've wondered if having an agent might help make those waters more navigable.
Nevets, having an agent is absolutely wonderful. I've had mine for years, and she sells stories abroad and in this country. They are magazine stories, so not great literature, but I enjoy writing them , and they used to make me a respectable little income before I started writing novels. My agent knows the market well, and knows exactly what's needed at any given time (it changes all the time), adn has all the contacts. Also very useful if, like me, you're lazy!ReplyDelete
I've never really cracked the technique of short stories, but I admire people who can pull them off. And "fun" ones are much better suited to the medium. Yes, "Dubliners" is all well and good, but wouldn't we all rather read Roald Dahl?ReplyDelete
To write like Roald Dahl - that really would be something, Tim!ReplyDelete
Frances, would you be averse to mentioning your short story agent's name, just as a starting point for a bit of research?ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry, Nevets, but I really can't on my blog; it's a bit too public. But if you email me (address on my website) I could give you more details.ReplyDelete
Understood and done!ReplyDelete
I enjoy writing short stories and wish there was more of a call for them to be published. I didn't realise there were agents who specialised in this field. I'll have to go a-hunting! I also love reading shorts, especially Stephen King's.ReplyDelete
Hi Akasha. Yes - it's good to have someone to do all the market research for you (although my market's pretty specific). Have you tried the Wrtiers' Room at the BBC (on line)?ReplyDelete
No I haven't Frances...I'm heading there now!ReplyDelete