With Eric James Stone
1st 28 min – discussing his career as a short story writer
28 min +
Three reasons to write it
1) You enjoy doing it
2) To practice your craft
3) To make a name for yourself
Short fiction is not a way to make a living at this time. Even Jay Lake, very prolific, does not do it.
Can give practice in things like how to make an overall story arc, how to write scenes, how to introduce characters, how to write snappy dialogue, how to make good endings… because it doesn’t take as long.
Many of the things can be carried over. However, many things do differ greatly.
Novel fiction is so much longer, and thus has to be a lot more complex. Short stories can have a straight-line plot, while novels you can’t really.
800 words long, told in words of one syllable – one of his short stories in Daily Science fiction. You can do things w/ short fiction that at novel length would be hard to do.
There are different lengths of short fiction – the shorter, the more you need to use “short cuts.” One, starts at the end of the story. It’s relying on a lot of SF clichés. Humanity wanting to gain admission to races with space flight. Cliché – humans are such a violent species, and advanced civilizations should be peaceful. People should be familiar with the tropes used a lot in SF. Without the tropes, this story wouldn’t work too well. “Three wishes” story. It relies on the rubbing the lamb, genie stereotype, so you don’t have to explain that part. You rely on established tropes to give youshortcuts on a lot things. That’s why world building in short function cannot be as expensive as in novles. Leviathan whom though has made – the swales story – aliens in a star. This lets the reader fill in a lot of nonessential information about the character, and who show how the character is different from the stereotype. The more characters you have the longer the story will be. Focus on a few characters. The more scenes you have, the more difficult it will be to keep it short. He has one short story with nine scenes – but that’s the exception than the rule. Keep down the number of locations and plots.
To cut a story from 1900 to 1000 words, he had to cut a character from 3 to 2 and cut out a subplot.
Make it as powerful as you can by focusing on the most important point in the story. Getting into the story late, close to the climax, while still setting everything up that you need to allow you to keep it shorter.