Sunday, January 20, 2013

Novels vs. Short Stories

                No one can have everything.  If so, that would be contradictory. For example, you couldn't have both a happy life and a miserable life. Well, I suppose you could, if your life was complex and you had certain facets of your life that seemed better than they actually were . . . Okay, my example doesn't actually fit my point. I'll stop digressing now. I have again realized that neither people nor sparkly vampires can have everything when I got feedback for the Interlochen contest today (news flash: I didn't make it). I've been entering many contests lately, but the market for short stories isn’t very big and they require an amount of professionalism that (as of right now) I don't  actually have. Except for my family's opinions, I don't have the writing skill needed for publishing novels, either, so right now this is basically hypothetical. However, I can still debate about it.
                I love short stories for the numerous ideas, prompts, and characters I can write without having an ongoing saga. I also like brevity that I use in short stories, something that fades quickly in my novels. Additionally, my first drafts don’t generally need much work. I can explore new genres without completely hating the bad plots I’d come up with in novels, and then I can trash the products of imagination and a very tired brain without feeling bad about it. In addition, most of my inspiration is for short stories.
                I like writing novels much more than I thought I would. I’ve generally created good characters, and I love watching it come together as a series of events. I’ve enjoyed it many times over the past few months, but then I have to edit it. (Cue thunder and screams of terror. That last part may have been a joke . . . ) I also like my novels’ plotlines, and the sense of accomplishment that I get from writing it, but I dislike that I put all of my other creative writing to the wayside when I’m working on a novel. I’m trying to get back to it, though. See, novels seem much more real to me. They're like movies, while short stories are like photographs. My problem is that I like them both: short stories capture a moment (or set of moments), while a novel captures a life*.

                Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below, or in the poll!

              Happy writing!
*I think I may have started making a living for Hallmark cards right at that very instant. In case you're wondering, yes. As I reread this, I started cringing.

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Thanks for visiting my blog, A Writer Girl! Comments are totally appreciated, and if you have constructive criticism, I'll welcome that too. Thanks so much for your input.