Hairy Stories.

This morning I looked over my blog notes. I make these so I can remind myself what I’m going to write to you good people about. I came to the next item on my list: “Why does it take so long to write a hairy story?” Well the answer is, that a hairy story takes longer because you have to shave it first. Get it?! Ha. Ha. I know, it’s bad.

Hairy Joke.gif

It was supposed to say, “Why does it take so long to write a short story?” Apparently autocorrect knows better than me.

I have lots of trouble writing short fiction and little to no trouble writing novels. Don’t even get me started on poetry. That’s one medium that remains firmly out of my reach.

I have finished 4 novel length stories, so between 85,000 and 100,000 words. These books flew out of me, I couldn’t finish them fast enough. If I don’t include research or editing time, it takes me about a month to write a book from start to finish. The jury’s still out on whether they’re good books or not, but that’s not the point and a whole other blog post.

The ideas for these books seem to flow from my pen and onto the page. I have dialogue and plot points, funny characters and soul destroying events. I hope people want to throw my books across the room in desperation and anger. That means I’ve connected.

Throw book.jpg

Yet, when I write a short story, I take the same amount of time to write 20,000 words as it takes to write 100,000 and that’s not being generous. Writing short stories for me feels like wading through honey, one stoke forward and then I need a rest to recover from the exertion of dragging my sloppy mind through the viscous fluid. Perhaps the problem is that I have too many words to work with in a full length novel. I can go on and on and on and then go back and cut the fat later. But with a short story, I’m always conscious of every word I’m writing. I’m constantly thinking about a better word or a more concise and punchy word to use because I’m limited. I want scenes to jump from the page but at the same time be succinct, whereas in a novel I have more time to set the scene and then zero in on the action.

The only time I’ve really written short stories is for competitions, (which I am yet to win, FYI). Maybe there’s too much pressure to win something, to compete with much more talented people then myself. Although the last short story I wrote was a sci-fi called Guardians of Darkness. My beta readers loved it and I submitted to a science fiction journal – I’m waiting to hear back, but it’s only been a few weeks. If its not accepted, I’ll put it up here to torture all of you with. I know, lucky you.

I read somewhere that you are either a short story writer or you’re not. I know I’m not a poet. I read wonderful works on here by talented people like Tre at A Cornered Gurl and Anita Lubesh at As it Comes. (If you don’t follow their pages, go and do yourself a favour.) There is no way I would even try to do anything that resembles the work they are capable of and I’m fine with that. But I can’t accept that I’m not a short story writer. If a bumble bee can fly, then I can write short stories!


Do you notice a difference between different types of writing? What do you struggle with?


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33 thoughts on “Hairy Stories.

  1. I’ve never been a fan of short stories…GASP! I don’t want to commit the time and energy into them only to have it end so quickly. I know they are hugely popular…but not with this girl. 🙂 Good luck to you and I love the title of this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think it sounds silly at all. We each have our passion. Not sure that I was clear…I’ve never attempted to write a short story…I was speaking about reading them. 🙂 ❤ Are you're novels published? I'm so curious about them! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Dissolve The Barriers You Created | From guestwriters

  3. You have a good point about being hyper conscious of word count for short stories. I started working on one last year and I put it away. I definitely know I’m a long story writer but there is a certain craft to telling a short story. Good luck with your submission!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Autocorrect is the Devil.

    You write what you can, when you can. And as brilliant as you are, it always come through just the way it needs to.

    Thank you for mentioning my blog. I’ve also followed “Anita Lubesh.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Firstly as I clear the lump…thank you for that, very much. This month I set myself a challenge of a short story, inspired largely by reading Lion’s copious amounts of good stuff – . I also did an ode to you being a keen Aussie (not that you have much choice) after the Australian tutorial you gave us but forgot to link it, but you inspired that….yes we can all form an orderly queue here for strokes and pats etc
    I am finding that the story wants to keep growing and this always happens, I have fun with it but don’t want it to grow but if I mentally set myself a cap, you are right, honey, spoilt for choice and 60 a day if I smoked…just for a short story, (so this might also be another that grows too big and has to move out). It is a horrible physiological thing, and that once we know there are constraints it works against us. How many words in your book constitutes a ‘short story’? I read conflicting accounts and advice. I have written numerous stories but never labelled them only that they are not a novel or have numerous chapters.

    Good luck with the submission!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can relate, Lisa. Short stories take me a long time because of that “every word has to count” situation. Good practice for me in tightening my prose, though. I hope Guardians of Darkness gets published, but if not, I look forward to reading it here!


  7. Funny thing writing.
    Being able to write a novel more easily than any other format is a great thing, better that way round.
    Short stories are something I love although I understand the worry over brevity, but the ones over say 2000 words don’t have to be ultra tight to pack a punch. If you can write 80000 word stories you can write shorter ones too, but perhaps there is a tendency for some to gravitate to certain lengths.
    Also Ms. Lubesh is awesome ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true. I would be in a whole world of pain if I couldn’t get past 5000 words. Perhaps it’s just my stubbornness that won’t let it go. I don’t give myself time to adjust. I have to either be able to do it and do it well or not at all. Which is a really horrible way to write. I’m working through it.

      Your short stories are wonderful and I read them wondering why I can’t pack a punch in so little words? I probably shouldn’t compare myself to the King of short stories though. 😀 Just setting myself up to fail. And yep, she sure is!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very kind.
        If its any help about four years ago I didnt have any discipline to finish a project, even a short story, but something changed to make me wake up and realise I had to finish them and get serious. The only bad thing is that because of WordPress my brain is in flash fiction mode, so when I write offline I feel like I have to cram something into 1000 words.
        Keep writing and it all falls into place over time. Patience isnt talked about that much but its really key. Still trying to master that one 😣

        Liked by 1 person

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