Wednesday 18 July 2018

Writing outside the comfort zone.

Writing short stories is not my medium of choice - I tend to write long and have trouble sticking to a word count - but I do have a go from time to time, because it's good to have a little stretch now and again. I'm telling myself that about the PhD too - I think I may  be deluding myself - that one is a Very Big Stretch. Anyway, back to the short stories - I'm OK if I have an idea that I think will work in a smaller space, so when I had an invitation to write a story for Your Cat magazine and an idea came to me - well, I won't say it was easy, but I wanted to have a try. I'm happy to say that the story worked out fine and was almost bang on the word count, once I had finished it, so I was very pleased with myself. Set on the Riviera, it features a black kitten and a heroine recovering from a failed love affair. It was fun to write and I hope it's fun to read. It's in this month's edition of the magazine and I was thrilled with the quirky illustration they have used, which exactly fits the tone of the story. You'll have to judge whether the thing works for you - I'm biased.  

The other thing outside my 'comfort zone' that I've been thinking about lately, is the tear-jerk moment. There's an old saying that is something on the lines of  - if you can make your reader laugh, that's good, but if you can make them cry, that's better. Now this I am not too good at. I might do it unintentionally, but when I'm actually thinking about it, I would rather scare my reader with the creepy stuff than make them weep buckets. But I do like to please my readers, so I am going to give it some thought. I don't imagine it is going to happen overnight - it took a while to get the hang of the short story thing, but it will be on the agenda. Of course at the moment I'm not writing a lot - see PhD, above, so this will give me more time for the idea to marinate. 

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway,       

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