Trashing a Bunch of Short Stories

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

This past week’s been a bit of a bummer. I finally accepted that a short story I started really wasn’t going anywhere. Sure, it started nicely, but then I got bogged down in pointless character conversation that was just an excuse to info dump. Info dumping is bad enough in a novel, but in a short story it’s inexcusable. There isn’t enough room to go splashing paragraphs of bland information even if it’s occasionally dressed up with character conflict.

The thing that irks me the most is that I used to write short stories all the time. I’ve always been a fan of them, and writing them was my gateway drug into writing longer fiction. Short stories are great because they’re supposed to hit hard and fast but leave as good of an impression as a novel will. Off the top of my head, Poe and Asimov are two very good examples of what I’m talking about.

With that in mind, I trashed the 2,000 words I wrote and started fresh ten times this week. All I’ve kept is the title. Every day I’ve been searching for a new perspective to get this story out. It feels kind of weird because I want to tell it, but it keeps fighting with me. The most similar feeling is having a cold sore that I won’t leave alone (I’m one of those people). I can tell that it’s been bugging me because I’ve forgotten to post a blog on Monday.

Fortunately the latest iteration of the story seems to be going nicely. Maybe the fifteenth time will be the charm. At least this time I’ve got more than just characters that dislike each other. Now all I have to do is take them on an 8,000 word journey.

Provided they want to, of course. That, though, is a whole different problem.


7 thoughts on “Trashing a Bunch of Short Stories

  1. I’ve been having the same problem, actually. I have a story in my head but can’t seem to get it off the ground. Then I had a dream this morning about how it’s supposed to start. Now I have to hurry and get it written for a March 4th submission deadline. 😛
    Best of luck with yours. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s good that your dreams are timely. With my luck, I’d have one the day after the deadline. If you get stuck again, just add some explosions. They seem to work in every genre…or so I’ve heard.


  2. I had the same problem with a poem I was trying to write off and on for about a year or so. I never did get around to writing a version of it that I deemed acceptable, though the frustration created room to write a few other stories/poems. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 2 people

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