Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Wednesday Wanderings

It's no secret that I have problems with brevity.  The sweet spot lengthwise for short stories, for me, is usually between six to eight thousand words, over the word count limit for many markets.  I do well with flash fiction, but that's a different way of thinking.  If anything, I expand one liners into a story.  Jokes where the punchline isn't necessarily funny.

If I want to keep a short story in a more limited word count, I have a specific strategy.  I conceptualize around a single scene:  one point of view, a specific unit of time and either the same setting or a continuous progression - for instance, someone walking around a city.  If I narrow my focus to that range, I find it much easier to kept the story succinct.

Not to say that it always works.  Occasionally, I've formed the broad outlines of a tale, only to find that it spins deeper and wider, even within that snapshot of a moment.  My brain thinks in big tangents and tangles, and I can't always rein them in ... at least not and end up with a complete story.

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