It turns out Elaina and I have a few things in common, and this is one of them. After we’d gotten ourselves committed (to writing our shorts, people…stay with me here), the next concern–plot–stymied us both. We traded quite a few laments about our respective predicaments, but this post by Elaina sums it up nicely. Remember to comment for a chance at this week’s $10 prize or one of two e-book prizes!
When I set out to write a short story for Astraea Press, I thought I’d be hard-pressed to stay under the 25k limit set by the publisher for a charity piece. Once I started writing though, and all the pieces of the plot started falling into place, I realized, I didn’t have a long plot at all.
Because the story had to be sweet (and I don’t write sweet), I had to keep things light between the characters. Their relationship couldn’t progress past that first kiss, I had to cut the line there. Then, I had to make sure everything was resolved in a realistic fashion for a Happy-For-Now ending. There-in lied the biggest challenge. Of course I had to have a kiss. Kisses are wonderful, they make romances, they help us remember our first heart-stopping kiss with the one we love. The kiss was essential. Finding the right moment, in ten-thousand words, to fit in the kiss, not so easy. Then there was the conflict, which goes from the stolen urn, to the past of the hero and heroine and eventually to his wealth and her being fairly destitute. All relevant, and amazingly something I was able to fit very neatly together.
The triumph came when I read back through and every element of the plot tied together in one way or another. The most amazing part, was I did this in just over ten thousand words. I never (ever) thought I’d be able to write a short story, let alone one with a COMPLETE plot! I had to laugh when Sarah Ballance said the exact same thing. Here we both were, totally shocked at our new-found ability. Will we be able to pull it off again? Who knows… but we did this time, and that’s all that matters to me. — Elaina Lee
Yes, Elaina, THAT! And now as I try to write another short story, I think the challenge is greater still because now I have to live up to HAWTHORNE! LOL.
Okay, dear readers. If you’d like to see what I had to say about the challenges of writing a short story, click here to go to Elaina’s blog. Also, there are still some free thank you gifts available, so give one of us a yell if you’d like one. We also have FREE print promotional materials if you’d like to share our stories with a friend. Please contact Elaina (click here to fill out a request) or email me at sarah at sarahballance dot com and we’ll send something very cool your way (while supplies last).