by Katherine Grey
Last summer my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, invited me to contribute a short story to their Love Letters line. I didn’t hesitate to accept. I even had a hero at the ready – Blaine Hobson, a secondary character from my debut novel, Impetuous. I had wanted to write his story ever since he first appeared in my mind so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
While I usually write stories that run between 350 to 400 pages, I figured writing a short story consisting of 80 to 100 pages would be so much easier. After all, I had written a short story in the past. Yep, one short story, really short consisting of 4 whole pages. Don’t get me wrong, it was a complete story having a beginning, middle, and an end and even placed as an honorable mention in a contest. Writing it was very easy, the story came to me fully formed, I just had to put it down on paper. The short story for the Love Letters line not so much.
Even though I had a fully formed hero and the heroine came not too long after, I found myself struggling to stay within the parameters of the page count requirement. I would find myself adding a subplot here and a subplot there only to have to go back and take them out because it would have put me well over the maximum of 100 pages. This led to multiple scenes and chapters being written and rewritten and rewritten again.
I never realized how hard it would be to “write short” as many of my fellow writers who regularly write short stories call it. I have to admit to having a bit of a snobbish attitude toward them, thinking they wrote short stories because their plots weren’t developed enough to sustain a full length novel. Boy, was I wrong. Their stories have to be very tightly plotted with all the necessary details intricately woven into well constructed paragraphs. They have to have concise word choices saying in one or two sentences something I might take a paragraph to say.
So I have just one thing to say to anyone who writes short stories – Wow, you guys rock. I’m very happy to eat humble pie given my former attitude. And let me stress it is a former attitude. In the future, I’ll be the first to say how hard it is to write a fully developed story in less than 100 pages.
I learned a lot from this experience and would probably try writing short again in the future. I hope you’ll check out my short story titled The Muse to be released on May 30, 2012 from The Wild Rose Press.
At the age of four, Katherine pestered her mother to teach her to read. From that point on, she spent the most of her childhood lost in the pages of one book after another. Soon she began writing stories of her own, populated with characters doing all of the things she was too shy to even contemplate doing herself.
A chance meeting with another writer led Katherine to seriously pursue a writing career. Her debut novel, Impetuous, was released by The Wild Rose Press in August 2011.
Katherine lives in upstate NY with her family though she threatens to move south at the beginning of each Winter season.
You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
Or on her blog at http://katherinegrey.blogspot.
Or on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com