Does your writing mood change according to what time of year it is? I have to say that although my novel writing is mainly dark, when spring and summer roll around I find my mood lightens. This is when I write short stories that are frivolous, whimsical even: Dreamtime part l
I started my writing career, many years ago, by writing short stories, but abandoned this when I eventually graduated to novels. I’d begun to find short stories vaguely dissatisfying, in a way I couldn’t quite define. All I did know was that writing books gave me a sense of achievement I’d not experienced before.
Now, after a long time, I’ve returned to short stories, albeit it sporadically, and find myself enjoying the challenge, and it is a challenge. In comparison to writing a book, were the author is free to expand the plot as they wish, one has to be far more disciplined when composing a short work of fiction. All the elements of novel writing: plot, narrative, dialogue and characterisation, have to be fitted into a much tighter space, which for me means racking my brain to the utmost.
I’ve always admired authors who can squeeze whole worlds into a few thousand words. Robin Hobb, author of The Farseer trilogy is such a one. I heartily recommend Silver Lady and a Fortyish man, written under her real name, Megan Lindholm, and A touch of Lavender as sterling examples of the art of short story writing.