Monday, June 1, 2009

Short Attention Span

After writing my last post, I realized that with a shorter attention span I should be focusing more on shorter works. I've been toying with flash fiction for the past month or so now, but over the weekend I was more productive and focused. Two of the pieces I completed (first draft, at least) were "Passing the Test" which is under 500 words, and "Throwing Stones" which is just under 1000. Both of these are scifi and one involves a robot. Both imply the death of children. Hmn.

I've also been interested in twitter serials, which just seem like an odd concept to me. The few that I've seen I have not liked. I do, however, get the idea that it's not supposed to be a longer story arbitrarily broken up. It has to be written for the form. So I tried that -- yet more robots! -- "Robot Wife" which centers around a robot revolution in 12 tweetable morsels. Confining myself to that form was interesting and reminded me of when I used to write poetry. I doubt that it will be something that I try my hand at on a regular basis, though. Even for my currently broken attention span, the very idea of a twitter serial is a bit... disconnected.

I wonder if other writers go through periods where they are stuck on/experiment with one form versus another. Had a brief but interest conversation with another writer, "Saudu" on twitter, because his works are typically very long, and even before this little burst of flash fiction, mine are typically much shorter. It also reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Stephen R. Donaldson. His Thomas Covenant series books are quite long. One time I picked up a collection of "short" stories by him. I think every one else would call them novellas-- and then to top it off, one of the stories was actually a huge chunk cut out of one of his books by his editor! I feel like I am on the other spectrum. I've never completed any thing long enough to be considered a novel. One incomplete at 120k is the longest I've ever written. At least, so far. I will most likely try my hand at longer works again some day, and who knows? Not totally fail next time. :)

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