Monday, July 23, 2012

Looking Through Windows

"Looking through Windows" is the title of my short story collection. No it's not published yet, but writers have to reward and brag about the steps taken toward completing a project. I'm almost there. Two stories to revise and send out. They claim you should have 30 to 40 percent of the stories in a collection already published in jounrals so I'm close. Two more acceptances and I will have four out of ten published. In the meantime I have commited to getting this done.

Over the past five years I have worked on and abandoned this project--back and forth and getting nowhere. Now I've promised myself to do no other writing but what I need to do until I can start querying agents and publishers about a collection.

The title is symbolic of what I, and other writers, do when we create settings, plots, characters and dialogues. We pretend we are looking through the nightime windows of other people's homes. Backlit against the warm golden lamp light we watch silhouettes glide around their private rooms and pretend we know what they are doing, what they are thinking, to whom they are speaking. We pretned we know their inner joys and turmoils. We have to. How else can we create the fictions we love to weave when we are alone, silhouetted against the writing lamp on our desks?

I love writing short stories. The intensity of action and language make for engrossing writing. I like making a whole life evident in 2,000 words or less. I like being able to see a project completed and sent out in a time frame I can grasp in one hand. Short stories and flash fiction are so much fun to write.

I also, like writing novels for the chance to go deep into the plot and the characters' lives. The time to meander through the story. The time to delve deep. But--I have to finsih these stories first. Once "Looking through Windows" is done I can return to my novel. Hard to pick betwee novels and short stories when choosing a writing project. But that's a topic for another day's post.