Don't you love it when things fall into place?
I've just finished my Christmas story for third annual Roses of Prose December short story extravaganza and am feeling pretty proud of myself. Why would a short story make any novelist feel proud, you ask? What with moving, OG's health issues, and lots of house guests, those 4,100 words were the first new fiction project I've completed since last year's holiday story. I started a new novel but have struggled to get back in the writing groove, so this short story was just what I needed. It got me writing again every day and stirred up the creative juices.
Two years ago I was apprehensive when we started this project. My novels fall into the 90k word range, and I hadn't written a short story since junior high. I wasn't sure how to structure a story of that length. Somehow it all fell into place, and the story I wrote that year turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. I had a great time writing last year's story, too. This year, now that I've moved away from Midwestern winters, I had a blast writing about a blizzard on the north shore of Lake Superior!
In fact, writing this story was so much fun it gave me an idea for my next project. I've decided to put my novel on hold and write a collection of ten holiday short stories which I plan to self-publish next fall. It's a manageable goal, and the challenge of coming up with that many premises and characters should fuel my creativity. I won't have the opportunity to get bored or bogged down, because another new story will be right around the corner.
Wish me luck!