Wednesday, 14 January 2009


I see that Stephen King has just published another book of short stories. I think he is one of the few main stream authors that still writes shorts (and can get them published). In fact two of my favourite stories are shorts from Mr King ("Stand by Me" and "The Shawshank Redemption").

BT and I had a discussion on the merits or otherwise of writing short speculative fiction. I like this format because I have a short attention span and can finish a story before I get bored and drift onto something else. I also like the sweet thrill of getting a piece accepted. I get more endorphin shots if I up my submission rate. Since my acceptance ratio has stabilised, the lower the word count the more stories I get to submit, which in turn leads to more acceptances.

I also feel like I am not ready to churn out 80,000 to 100,000 words. If I am going to spit out that quantity I want to be sure of the quality. This year I'm going to continue to focus on the short and flash formats. 2010 will be the year of the novel.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to go out and get SK's latest but I have enough to read at the moment. I'll no doubt get it eventually - I've heard nothing but great things.

    As for length - The flash or short story writer doesn't have to lead to the novel. I can't see why someone who enjoys writing the shorter version would bother with a longer version.

    I currently find writing flash quite hard. They tend to be vignettes as opposed to little self contained stories. Hence my work seems to be getting longer all the time.

    The first thing I ever wrote (and it was written badly) was a novel manuscript, so maybe there is a predisposition to writing them.

    Who knows??

    Some people just write flash and shorts - there's nothing wrong with that. Good luck with all you submissions this year and if you get around to the novel in 2010 - good luck with that as well, but if you don't - I wouldn't worry about.