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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Short Stories

I'd never written a short story before being asked to contribute to The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2. Okay, I did have a short story writing class in college, but a 10-page story is very different from a 25 to 50 page story. Also, I'd written a novella, but again, the word count requirements were hugely different, and writing different lengths of story take different writing muscles. At least IMO.

So I was asked to write a story for Vampire 2 and I said yes. And thought, OMG, how do I tell a story in such a short space? I bought the original Mammoth Vampire Romance book and read a couple of the stories. They seemed to mostly be vignettes rather than full stories and I thought, okay, I can do that.

A funny thing happened, though, as I wrote Blood Feud. First of all, I did end up with a full story. It was short, but it had a beginning, middle, and end. The second thing I learned was that I enjoyed writing short stories. Well, huh. I never would have guessed this. I write long, routinely coming in well over my word count total. When my contracts have minimum word requirements, I can't help but smile. Minimum isn't a problem for me--what's my maximum word count? ;-)

But I discovered short stories have a rhythm of their own and it's one I enjoy dancing to. I knew I wanted to write more and then I had this idea hit me. It was a great for a story, but the problem was it wasn't substantial enough to support 400+ pages. Sure, I could add other stuff to it, but it would dilute the original idea.

It was, however, the perfect type of idea for a short story.

About the same time, my agent and I discussed getting more of my work out there more frequently and Nocturne Bites came up. I put together a proposal for my idea--about 10 pages and a 3-page synopsis--and we sent it off. It sold! So look for another short story set in the same world as Blood Feud from Vampire 2. It will be out probably in the first three months of 2010 and I'm working on coming up with title suggestions. I'm really bad at titles.