noctuary: (Default)
[personal profile] noctuary
Today's writing exercise - a 75-word drabble I may post in the future... or hell, at the end of this post - struck home one of my personal problems when it comes to writing short stories, and that is that I'm rarely sure when to stop. I often reach a point where I feel an end could be, but I'm unsure how to bring it about. I often also have more to say, so I keep going. Often it does come to a satisfying end, eventually. But one thing that often concerns me is whether something has been overstated. Do I ruin the story by keeping it going past the original point of "I-feel-like-the-end-could-be-here"? Is everything after this point just belabouring the idea, or spelling it out for the reader unnecessarily? Or is it the other way around.... if I stop too early, is the reader left wondering "what the fuck was that meant to mean?"? Am I failing to explain myself properly? Am I selling the story short (sorry) by not letting it breathe and take shape over more pages?

God even this post is awfully written today. It's just been an evening for it, I think. Forum posts a mess, brain all over the place with the wind. The wind is blowing a gale, and quite literally. It's fun and exciting and makes one feel warm and cosy, but it's just possible that it has also addled one's mind.

I think in the case of my vignette, I am happy with where it finishes - but I feel like there could be a lot more to it. I may well work it into a good short story in its own right. Of course, reading over the vignette itself, it's really awful.... Looks like it's a project for the future: to rewrite the entire thing as a genuine short story.

Date: 2011-06-04 10:22 pm (UTC)
analect: DA2 lulz (goddamnitkirkwall)
From: [personal profile] analect
You're not alone. I'm a verbose cow at the best of times, but I really struggle with short-short fiction. For me, a short story usually hits 7-10k, which gives plenty of time to sculpt a beginning, middle and end, and to work through whatever themes and stuff need to happen. 2-4k, and I feel like I've been truncated.

Something I find useful is just hauling out the most salient point the story's making - whether it's a plot point, something thematic, or whatever else - and evaluating how successfully that's achieved in the shortest timeframe. Sometimes the ending is not the end, but the thing that the ending makes occur... if that makes any sense whatsoever. I fear not. It's late, and I'm out of caffeine.


noctuary: (Default)

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