Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Story A Week: Permanent

During their drive back to the hotel after a family reunion, Mandy feigns sleep in order to evesdrop on her parents' conversation, a conversation that could change their lives forever.

That's my one-sentence pitch for the story I wrote this week. It's about 2000-words long, so I'm not going to post it. Waaay too long for a blog post, imo.

Also, it's part of a sub-goal I've made for myself. Over the next two months I'm going to write eight stories. Then I'm going to pick my favorite, polish it up, and submit it here at One Story. (Thanks, Moonrat, for the link!) Of course, if I pick this particular story, I'll have to figure out a way to lengthen it by 1000 words. Uh, so maybe I won't be choosing this one. Unless I get a huge plot-altering inspiration.

I don't know, I probably don't have a chance getting published in One Story. I'd be running with the big dogs if I did. But, when self-doubt creeps in, I remind myself, Am I not already trying to run with the big dogs? If I don't think my writing is good enough to be published in a magazine like One Story, why am I even sending anything to agents at all?

Good question!

I think that's one way this A Story A Week challenge has been good for me. It's forcing me to focus on my writing, instead of on one big project. With a novel, I find that whether it's bad or good, I can't help but love it because it's my baby. I BIRTHED it. Sweat, blood, toil. We love our babies, even if they're ugly.

I don't invest anywhere near as much in a short story, so I can be brutal with myself. I can dissect without as much pain. I can experiment. I become more of a scientist and less of a mother. I think that's good for my writing.

Writers, what do you think? Have you written short stories? What is your experience with them?


  1. Thanks for the link to ONE STORY, Amy. That sounds like a very worthwhile endeavor (and one I might consider somewhere down the line).

    I don't think I've written a short story since junior high, so I don't know a lot about them. I'd love to hear some of the insights you've gleaned as you've been working on your one story a week.

  2. Hi Amy,

    I really enjoy writing short stories. I tend to write them accidentally though - for example I may start writing a letter to someone and then it'll turn into some different some how, part true, part fictional. Or I'll start what I think is a chapter for my novel, but it'll take off and become it's own little and totally unrelated story.

    Good luck with your short stories, I think this is a very noble pursuit!


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