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It's Shorts Season!

The hot pants kind AND the literary kind!

I just watched The Dukes of Hazzard with special features.* Yeah, stick with me here. This is highly intellectual stuff. One of the special features explained the fashion engineering behind Daisy's shorts. Though they look like simple cutoffs that any yokel with a pair of scissors could create, apparently there was some intense design work required to get them as sleek, sexy, and daring as possible... while still having enough substance in strategic spots to cover her ass.

What's the point? Short STORIES, I am beginning to understand, are just as deceptively simple. I used to think I just didn't "get" short stories. I'm a novel kind of girl. At the library, I'm drawn to big, thick books with plots that flow like coursing rivers and large casts of slowly-developed characters. I've never liked reading short stories much, and I've always wanted to write novels.

But lately some writers I admire, including the folks at my favorite writing blog The Literary Lab, have convinced me that delving into short stories is a good idea for two main reasons:

1. It's a good exercise in learning to focus scene writing and characterization.

2. Getting short stories published is faster and sometimes easier than getting a novel published. Some writers suspect that they have an easier time publishing a novel after they have a few short story publications to their names.

So I've decided to give short story writing a try and enter Miss Glam's Short Story Contest that starts today. (No fooling!)

Anybody with me? Have any of you found short story writing to be helpful, either on the craft end or on the publication end of the business?

Now, to come up with some short story material! I'm pretty sure I have some old, shabby novel manuscripts in my files that could use a trimming...

*The Dukes of Hazzard (Unrated Widescreen Edition)


  1. Ahh, I used to love writing short stories. Maybe it's time I get back to it! Great entry!

    PS: Any reason you're not following me anymore? =(

  2. Sometimes I start following a blog, and then one day my profile under "followers" switches to one with a blank photo and just the name "Jeannie." It's some kind of glitch and doesn't mean I don't subscribe anymore. Just one of those annoying things I don't understand about Blogger...

  3. Like you, I am primarily a novelist. I've found short stories really useful, however, for the reasons you describe - it's easier to practise on 1,000 words than 100,000, and it helps to build up writing credentials.

    Also I find it helps sometimes to have a break and write something different. It's easy to get bogged down with a novel, and doing something else can be the answer. And it's more productive when that "something else" is writing a short story, not watching goofy Youtube videos :-)

    Good luck in the contest!


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