Friday, November 22, 2013

Transitions - Flash to Shorts to Novels

When I started writing fiction, I wrote a couple of short stories and outlined a romance novel. I also dabbled in children's fiction. That was in over fifteen years ago. When I resumed writing in 2012, I found myself immersed in flash fiction. What fun! Writing, slashing, revising, slashing, adding, cutting until my words were trimmed to the bone but a story was still told.

In August of 2012 I participated in my first Camp NaNoWriMo, challenged with writing 50k words in thirty days. Oh my! Could I do this? Sure, I could toss words on paper but could I tell a story? Worse, could I stretch that story into 50k words? After all, I'd spent the last six plus months slashing my writing down to bare bones.

Surprisingly I did it, and I've done it twice more. What I've discovered is I write the story (no or very minimal editing) and when I rewrite my first draft, that is when I flesh out my descriptions, when I do more showing and less telling. Many authors find they cut words when they revise, I end up cutting but also adding a lot more than I cut.

Writing three novels in the last year meant no time for flash fiction or short stories. Well, I dabble a little in flash again - I missed my flash fiction writing friends - but not enough to really count. I also wrote one short story for an anthology with some author friends.

Now I need to write another short story for a second anthology and I'm struggling. I used to worry that I couldn't write a novel, now I find it hard to contain my ideas to something short.

Do you write fiction works of varying lengths? Do you have trouble transitioning?

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