Why Atsiko Hates Short Stories

08 Sep

Okay, let’s be honest:

Atsiko loves to read short stories.  Mostly spec fic short stories. *pauses for gasps of surprise*  And also other short stories.  *more gasps*

 But one thing about short stories that Atsiko does not like about short stories is writing them.  Because Atsiko is terrible at writing short stories.  They start out nice and short and stiff, and then they get long and squishy and…  well, you get the picture.  Obviously, this is not fun.

(I’m making an analogy about gum here.  I don’t need anyone else’s mind in the gutters, dirtying them up.)

But last night, I had a dream that I could turn wholesale into a perfect short story.  I had my first person character voice down pat.  (Normally, I usck at first person.)  I almost had the whole thing written in my head.  But then I had to go to class.  And when I sat down a few hours later to write, I had a hazy idea of what my story had been about, and not the first clue how to get it down on paper.  My poor brain was half boiled by all the mental cussing.

This happens to me every time.  Every single time.  Or something like it happens, anyway.

And that is why I will probably never finish a short story.  Darn it!  *goes to cry in the corner*


Posted by on September 8, 2010 in atsiko, Writing


Tags: , , , , ,

7 responses to “Why Atsiko Hates Short Stories

  1. Arlee Bird

    September 8, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Guess it’s a matter of practice. The more short stories you write, the better you will become. That’s the theory anyway.

    Tossing It Out

    • atsiko

      September 8, 2010 at 3:51 AM

      Yeah, but it’s a bit of a catch-22, that I can’t write good short stories until I’ve written some short stories, but I can’t write short stories. Except the one great story that got away. /whine

  2. BigWords

    September 9, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    Have you tried following the simple Setup > Fix > Twist style that epitomized the very best of the short stories adapted for Twilight Zone, the finest examples of short-form storytelling in any medium, and any genre, ever – no contest. They have a rhythm to them that is easy (or, at the very least, quick) to pick up on, and the only thing you really have to worry about is coming up with a killer twist at the very end, or a line that will force the reader to reconsider an aspect of the story fresh. I would also suggest you hunt around for the collection of Alan Moore’s short strips for 2000AD, which use a whole bunch of conventions in new ways. And read Ray Bradbury obsessively.

    • atsiko

      September 9, 2010 at 4:41 PM

      It’s more coming up with ideas small enough than anything else. But I’ll try to dig up the resources you mentioned. 🙂

  3. Nicole

    September 9, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Also, short stories take as much work as a full novel. I swear it.

    • atsiko

      September 10, 2010 at 4:00 AM

      I wouldn’t go quite that far, but especially since I write spec fic, they take much more work proportional to the length of the final project.

  4. Sevvy

    September 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I know how you feel. Most of my short stories feel as though they could be expanded into longer works. They’re usually 20-30 pages long, too. I find that staying as focused as possible helps. I think of the short story as an exact moment in time, the most important thing that ever happened to my main character, and that usually helps me keep the story focused and from going off on all kinds of tangents.


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