Short Fiction Revisited

February 9, 2008

Finally finished the new story I was working on.  I’ve put it away for a while, as I do everything I write.  I’ll read it through eventually, make some changes, and then figure out where to send it.

It was a fun piece to write, in part because it was set in the new world I’ve created for the next series I plan to write (after I’m done writing the last of the Blood of the Southlands books).  It began as a simple story, a chance to work out some worldbuilding mythology.  It wound up as much more — a key incident from the past of the series’ lead character.  In writing it, I learned a tremendous amount about him, and about a secondary character as well.  Even if I never sell the story, it’s already accomplished what I hoped it would.

Writing short fiction serves so many purposes, even for someone who considers himself almost exclusively a novelist.  I’ve said this before in various venues, but it bears repeating.  Writing short fiction can teach you a great deal about your characters, about your world.  It can help you develop an authorial voice for a larger project.  And it gives you material to sell while you’re writing your novel, which can facilitate the marketing of you book.  If you’re stuck on a part of your book — you can’t get past a problem you’re having — step away from the novel and try writing something unrelated about one of the characters.  Chances are the process will jar something loose and get you past that roadblock.  No one ever has to see the short piece.  But you’ll see it, and chances are you’ll learn from it.

That’s my two cents for the day.

Today’s music:  Nanci Griffith (One Fair Summer Evening)

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2 Responses to “Short Fiction Revisited”

  1. Coach said

    Hello,

    I’ve liked the layout of your blog. I have my own blog and was wonering if you would accept a monthly payment for a link on the bottom of your page. That or we can do a link exchange. Wasn’t sure what you would think of the idea but thought I would run it by you anyway. Thanks in advance for considering.

    Have a great day,

    Scott

  2. davidbcoe said

    Thanks for the kind message, Scott. I’ve replied with a private email.

    Best,

    David

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