Short Stories and Other New Adventures

I’ve always struggled with short stories. Writing them, reading them . . . it doesn’t matter. They’ve never been my jam. I love epic stuff like Star Trek and Discworld and just about any other story following a group of people or society over a long period of time. Short stories always leave me wanting more, as though they’re merely a prologue to a much longer and more interesting adventure.

That being said, I recently dug out an old short story and pulled another out of a book I hope to finish one day. With the help of feedback readers on Critter’s Workshop, Scribophile, and Critque Circle, I polished them up and learned a ton in the process. My writing has definitely improved as a result, but it was also great to get detailed feedback on a story that wasn’t my “precious baby” AKA the manuscript I’ve been querying on and off for two years.

Speaking of which, query letters are insanely difficult to write, but the things I learned from the short story feeback have helped me with the blurb section of my query. An unexpected bonus when I was just looking for a way to get paid credits so I can start working my way toward SWFA membership. Fingers crossed for takers on one or both of them while I finish my latest revision on my “precious baby.”

Another new thing all this helped me decide to try out: writing conventions. This weekend is Imaginarium, which happens to be about 20 minutes from my house. The pandemic killed the two writing groups I’d hoped to join, but they’re finally gearing back up and I was able to meet members of both. Anxiety makes it difficult for me to go in cold, so this was a great way to dip a toe in the water, meet some cool people, and enjoy a few hours of interesting conversation about writing.

So yay for trying new things, even when we’ve already made up our minds not to like them!