Sunday, 29 November 2009

Addicted to stories

As a psychologist I'm interested in why we do and like certain things. We clearly love TV, we watch hours a day. As a nation, we consume newspapers, books and magazines, we follow celebrity gossip and news scandals, we love film and TV. In the past, we were hooked on serial stories, radio dramas and storytelling in every form. I think my need for writing is a reflection of my need for stories. I have always told myself stories to get to sleep, and sometimes just need to write them down. So I've written short stories and much longer stories, but I was nervous about putting them out so I didn't get feedback. Now I'm getting the feedback and it's painful but I can't believe how much I have learned in this last couple of years! Working on short stories for my TMA, I'm distracted by the craft rather than the story itself. So I've decided to spend the weekend and early next week writing a short story for its story, then edit based on my new knowledge and the fiction chapters of the Big Red Book. I am feeling caught between 'good' writing and good stories.I've dipped into some 'good' stories and while the craft is beautiful the stories aren't always compelling. I've been reading some Bridport winning stories and runners up in their anthologies,and some of them are wonderful. Some are baffling to me, the stories take a back seat to the writing to such an extent I can't make head or tail of them. The characters are unlikeable so you don't care about them, so don't engage with the stories. So, as a novelist, I need to let up trying so hard to understand the short story thing and carry on doing what I do best - write long fiction with strong stories. So I thought I would take a bit of a plot in a novel and write it up as a short story, then edit as recommended in the BRB. I suppose I should stop talking about it and actually do it....

No comments:

Post a Comment