Friday, June 20, 2014

Short Story Ingredients


Any time I write a short story, I’m reminded that fiction is a careful mix of ingredients. For it to work, the mixture must achieve some kind of balance. In my new ebook I’ve created a complex structure in order to explain a complex plot. To be able to do this, and keep the tale moving, I’ve skimped in parts on description and characterization. 

There are two versions of my story. First the “Director’s Cut,” and then a reworking, the “Producer’s Cut.” In my reworking I removed some insight into the characters, but also any trace of self-indulgent “fine writing.” I’ve done this to maintain pace—but there’s the danger of having too much pace. I’ve had to add short bits when I needed to slow things down. Complexity and flow? Perfect balance? It may not be possible. “Modernist Pop” is almost an oxymoron—but I’m nothing if not ambitious.

What’s left in? What’s cut? That defines the art of the art. Not everything can be jammed into one work. There are only so many words in one story.

(“Assassination of X” is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store  Barnes and Noble’s Nook Books.)

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