So today I broke the 100k mark with my short stories, which I am very proud of, mainly because I didn’t really expect to write so many stories. I started with a novel, writing the first draft over two months, and as I obsessed over it last year I would write the occasional short story to break the monotony.
Lately i’ve been polishing some of my short stories for publication and i’m happy to see five pieces sent off to different magazines (Four short stories, and one non-fiction). It’s been a lot of fun sifting through my old work, noticing a distinct rise in my ability now as a writer, while still loving certain bits of each of the stories.
Coming back to work that you love with a better skillset is like trying to shape something beautiful out of quartz. You’re hopefully going to get to stage where you know it’s as good as it can be. If you’re particularly skilled or lucky, then people will like it, but mostly it gets put away while you work on something new.
The beauty of coming back with new ideas and tools is that you can continue to shape the piece, without losing the structure or shape, you’re just embellishing. Today I edited a short story I wrote last year called Giving Up, which is kind of a bitter love letter to God written by the Devil. I had received a lot of positive feedback from writers, so it surprised me to just look at it and know how to get it just right, while still loving the fact i’d written what is essentially a strange viewpoint of something most of us go through (Heartbreak).
I love seeing things getting that little bit better, and having 400 pages worth of short stories in varying degrees of completion and quality show just how much work has gone into that year and half’s worth of work. I’ve gone from not really liking short stories, to relishing the chance to sit down and create a pocket-sized story to play about with, whether it’s: Personal, world, or even dimensionally different than everything else.