I have now had two short stories accepted by my publisher. The first was Handsome Stranger. My first real attempt at writing a short story. I am not a short story kind of person. I get attached to my characters and don’t want to let them go. I usually make the books into series so I can see the characters I’ve already made again. Short stories are so much different however. Not only will I not be able to see these people again in another story, unless somehow I work it out (which I may at some point hehe) but they don’t even really have a story themselves. I usually have to let my characters get to know each other before they start to show their attraction to each other but you can’t do that in short stories. It needs to move quickly. They meet, fall in love, happily ever after, boom done. Surprisingly Handsome Stranger wasn’t as hard as my other short story, Hestia’s Vacation.
I think the main problem was that I was thinking I could make Handsome Stranger into a full length story but after writing it decided it would be better as a short story. With Hestia’s Vacation I started out believing it to be a short story. I forced myself to write quick, not a lot of description (which I don’t put much anyway so it was bad) and the conversations didn’t feel real. After my editor told me that there seemed to be something missing I agreed with her fully. Even before I sent it in I was thinking something was wrong with it. I couldn’t seem to find the problem however so I sent it in to see what she thought. After she mentioned it I decided to go back over and see why it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t attached to the people in Hestia’s Vacation like I am with everyone else. I wonder if it was my way of trying to write short. If I don’t get attached I wont draw it out to 100 pages (subconscious thought maybe?). What ever the problem was it didn’t sound like my normal writing and I didn’t really feel like I cared if they ended up together in the end or if I ever saw these two people again. That’s not good, if myself as the creator of these people don’t care why would any reader care? So I went back through it made my characters more likeable, their conversations more identifiable with people. Made myself care for them and want to see them for just a bit longer, it ended up being 3,000 words longer than it had been and to me much better.
I am glad that I’ve gotten through that rough spot. It was hard for me to write while that was out there hanging over my head. I don’t know if I started to question whether I could write or if I just didn’t like that I had written something that I hadn’t cared about at first. I want to care about everything and everyone I write about. It seems that now that the edits are underway and I have read the last draft that was accepted I am able to write again. I want to write and I can think about my characters for the second book in my Rolling Hills Ranch series (John gets his book next).
I’m finding it hard to focus on John though, I have another book in my head that the people are getting very impatient. I have started their book but they want me to write on it and I’m forcing myself to write John first. I don’t want to have too many stories out there that I’m working on. John and all the other books on Rolling Hills Ranch will have to have their books first. After that I can work on my other story, they are called the Weird Sisters at the moment, though that may change. They are witches that have special powers. I based the women and what kind of powers they have after my sisters and myself. Each of us has a very distinct attitude and therefore would have very different gifts (see they are trying to get out even now, very persistent my Weird sisters). Well back to John, need to work on his book, Loving Allison.