Friday, 26 June 2009

Flushed

If you're in the mood for something short and nasty, try my new story up at 3:am.

And, while we're all here mooching about and pretending to write, tell me if you write short stories. And why. Or, indeed, why not.

12 comments:

Alis said...

A cartoon character representation of a pink duck which is actually a being of vast power? Even if I didn't know this was an Aliya Whiteley story, this would tell me!

Aliya Whiteley said...

I knew I was getting predictable.

Alis said...

Never that, Aliya!

Neil said...

I've got something from when I was about fourteen where one of the characters was called Edmund Toiletduck and a rubberduck who was also God told him he was the chosen one. So I guess what I'm saying is... plagiarist! ;)

Aliya Whiteley said...

You must have been transmitting it on a higher frequency.

David Isaak said...

I don't write short stories becasue they invariably do one of two things:

1) Suck, or
2) Turn into first chapters of novels.

On a really bad day, they do both.

Aliya Whiteley said...

That sucks. Sympathy.

Matt Curran said...

Oooh ooh, me me! (dances around like a kid who has had too much sugar) - I write short stories.

Actually I've been on a short story hiatus for about nine years and only started writing them seriously again at the end of last year. I had my first short story published this May, in First Edition magazine, which I was very pleased about, and since then I've caught the bug turning out a half-decent story every two or three weeks.

What I find great about short fiction is that you can experiment in genre and tone and pace to your hearts content without having to commit yourself to a 100,000 word project on a whim. It's a good way to learn the craft, and even though they sometimes suck - for every story I finish there's about a dozen that I start and never complete (because they suck) - nothing is wasted. I've learned from every crap story I've written, and for a writing addict without a huge amount of time on their hands, they keep the imagination going. They're like the warm up act for the main event, or the jog around the block before the marathon, such as my third Secret War novel.

For example, this morning I wrote 4,000 words on a story called The King of Two Islands - so far it doesn't suck, but it needs a fair bit of work to get it right. But what pleases me the most is that I wrote 4,000 words in 3 hours - and that's after only 5 hours disjointed sleep, which isn't bad and bodes well for The Fortress of Black Glass...

...Though right now I feel utterly fucked.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I found that too, Matt - it was easier to return to short stories in those first days of looking after a baby. Something to do with utter tiredness and a short attention span, probably. And, as you say, even when they're terrible, you don't feel bad about it. It's not a year or so of terribleness - just a couple of days.

Frances Garrood said...

I write short stories. Trashy short stories. For money. But I really envy those of you who write literary short stories. I still blush when I recall my reply to a post of Matt's, commenting on marketing short stories, not realising that his are proper ones (mine are not). Sorry about that, Matt. But you were awfully gracious.

Ann Weisgarber said...

A duck in the toilet; wow! I don't have that kind of imagination and that probably explains why I don't have any luck writing short stories. There's also one other problem: I don't know when to stop.

I just got back from the Historical Novel Society conference and there's a huge demand for historical mystery short stories. What a challenge: a dead body, a snappy detective, multiple suspects, no cell phones or e-mail, and a logical conclusion all in 5,000 words.

Has anybody out there given that genre a try?

Doug Worgul said...

Will posted the only short story I've ever written on the MNW catalogue page for Thin Blue Smoke. You can read it here, if you're of a mind to:
http://www.panmacmillan.com/features/displayPage.asp?PageID=6729

The only other time I tried writing one, it turned into a 469 page novel — the aforementioned Thin Blue Smoke