Sunday, March 4, 2018
Writing in Different Mediums: Try, Try, Try Again
This week’s topic is writing in different mediums, and it’s a bit of a stumper. I don’t think of myself as writing in different mediums. I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories -- those are my jam, man.
But I’ve been writing blog posts since 2002, back in the grand old days of LiveJournal. Those old LJ entries were a terrific way of finding a voice. I produced more than three hundred thousand words there over the years -- informal, personal, and chatty. In 2007, I started a wine blog, which magically turned into a four-year dream gig as a wine columnist for Canada’s largest women’s magazine. Currently, I write three or four pieces a year on the writing life for the Another Word column at Clarkesworld. Those articles always take on a personal tone, and I love writing them.
So those are my two modes: Short, fairly serious fiction and chatty non-fiction. Both modes go much smoother if I’m clear about what I want to say -- by which I mean my intent, not necessarily the little details. A lot of the inspiration happens between the lines.
Within fiction, I’ve written as short at 4,800 words, and as long as 40,000 (my novella Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach hits on March 13, and it’s just about a hundred words shy of 40,000). So far, I haven’t managed to write a short-short or flash piece. I’ve been trying for a few months to put together a story in less than a thousand words, and it’s been murder.
Writing short is much harder than writing long. Flash is absolutely a foreign medium, and as far as I can tell, the skills that allow me to write a short story don’t apply to flash. After about five attempts, I haven’t even gotten close to a coherent story but I’ll keep trying.
@jeffekennedy I’m a woman, a Westerner & a writer of fantasy, romance & erotica. Repped by Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary. I lost the line, so I cross it. Fair warning.