Sunday, November 15, 2009

Novel In The Works

Well, I've started a new novel. I haven't attempted a story of this length in several years now. After I finished my three book series, I was burned out and upset that I couldn't seem to get a foot in the door of the publishing industry. So I decided a different approach: short stories. I always had contempt for the short story. I didn't like reading them, I didn't understand the point of so brief an experience. My goal, therefore, was novels. Making a novel work taught me much about storytelling effectively, but I hadn't the first clue about how to write short. I admit, I had to buy books that could teach this novelist how to condense her ideas into less than 5 thousand words. I still have trouble fitting complex characters and their troubles into a space less than 8k, but once I got into the swing of short story writing, I had to be honest with myself and say that I had been obsessed to an insane degree to sit down and write three novels that were well into the epic word count.

I attempted a few other novels, but inevitably I lost interest, passion, stamina. So, now that I've begun a new one, I'm nervous. Do I have the staying power anymore? I look at GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire series (my absolute favorite) and think, "Dear God, that man is a lunatic! A wonderful, brilliant lunatic!" I'm afraid that when I turned 30 and grew up I lost that rare gift of lunacy. How do I recapture it?

3 comments:

Stephanie Thornton said...

Hi! I wandered over when I saw your picture on Pub Rants. It's a beautiful painting!

I think all writers have a degree of lunacy. I know sometimes I feel totally crazy! Good luck jumping back into novel-length stories. Maybe it's like riding a bike- once you learn how you never really forget!

Cort L. Lynn said...

Hi, Stephanie! It's nice to meet you. I didn't expect anyone to actually happen by my humble little spot in the web, so this is a very pleasant surprise!

I do hope your metaphor proves to be true. More, I'm hoping that writing skill is like fine wine: improving with age. Teehee. One thing I know for sure, learning to writing short stories has greatly improved my storytelling skill, especially in the technical areas. But is that skill good enough to make the cut? We'll see.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Ohhh... wine. Yum! I might have to go have a glass in a few minutes.

I've only tried my hand at short stories a few times. One I entered in a contest didn't fare so well, but I learned a lot about characterization in those 25 pages. I also learned that I could write something longer than a page or two. And then I cranked out a 400 page book. I like to think we learn something from all our writing, long and short, good and bad.

I'm looking forward to future posts on your blog!