Sunday, November 15, 2009

Anthology Invite

I was invited to submit a short story to another anthology. So I've been working on a short story for that. I needed a break from my novel work, so this was a good time to set aside the longer form to try my hand at writing a short story.

When I was a kid, all I really wanted to do was write short stories. Most of my favorite authors had been exceptional short story writers: Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Robert Aikman, Fritz get the picture.

So for a few years I labored away, writing short stories every time an idea would hit me or a phrase would occur to me or something as slight as the color of the sky would inspire me. At such times the thing to do was--to my way of thinking--write a short story. Most of these were pretty horrible. Not good-horrible. Awful-horrible. As in I hope I've burnt them all by now.

At a certain point, though, after I'd gotten to a level where I could write a creditable short story and had managed to sell a few dozen, I stopped. I'd decided to become a novelist and had turned my hand to writing longer works of fiction--things with themes that couldn't be handled in just a few thousand (or a few hundred) words. Since that time I've only rarely gone back to writing short fiction. For one reason I lost touch with the anthology market and I didn't know where to sell stories (the magazines are mostly dead these days); so there was that. But mainly I was so busy writing novels that I just couldn't bother to write short stories at all.

But now I've found that they give me a reason to relax when I'm struggling on completing a novel. They help even more than my efforts in writing for this blog. (Admittedly, the main reason I keep a blog is to help with my fiction efforts. They keep the old joints greased, so to speak.)

So that's what I'll be doing most of the day on Sunday: working on a short story to submit for the approval of the editor of an anthology.

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