I've been struggling with the idea of creating short stories for years. I've sent several pieces of flash fiction to contests, but won nothing. I found it very difficult to write a comprehensive story in 1,000 words or less.
Then in late February, I went to my first meeting with the Speed City Sisters in Crime group. They are putting together an anthology they are calling Hoosier Hijinx, which will be published in 2013. The story must center on Indiana basketball. Spending the first half-century of my life in central Indiana, you'd think this would be a breeze. Well, not at first.
For the first week after my return from my hometown, I fretted over the task. I'd told my new found friends at SCSinC short stories weren't my strong suit, but agreed to give it a try. How does one combine mystery with Hoosier Hysteria! Then suddenly it hit me! I was sitting at my computer doing something completely different when a story line popped into my head. The more words that graced the page, the easier it began to flow. What happened to afford this change?
I believe it was word count. As I said earlier, most of the contests I'd entered required 1,000 words or less. This project gives me 2,500 to 7,500 words literally at my fingertips. When I was a young adult, before email and cell phones, I wrote letters to out-of-town family members. I could never stop at two or three pages. I had to give them all the details which usually produced eight to ten pages. Just ask them, they'll tell you.
So, I guess it's not a matter of whether I have the ability to write a short story, I just needed to find my niche. Thank you Speed City Sisters in Crime for encouraging me to give it a try. I feel so much better now.
Until next time.