Sunday, May 27, 2012

do you like short fiction?

I recently decided to start writing short fiction again. When I say again, I was an avid writer in my youth, even winning a couple of local short story competitions.

Back then i used an old typewriter a relative gave me. The medium i used this time was blogger. It makes it easy to send a link to people who I want to proof read it or to offer suggestions. The aim was to see if I could write regularly and quickly to pump out something that at least someone could find interesting. The first rough result is

Although I was born into a family of tradespeople I managed to get into uni and eventually came out with a degree in journalism, but it was only halfway through that I realised it wasn't the industry for me, and I finished my studies only so i could say I hadn't wasted my time and pursued careers unrelated to journalism.

So, more than ten years later, I find that I write for a living anyway. It's drab business oriented writing, like strategies, plans, proposals and training, but it's writing, so I decided I needed a creative outlet to offset the banality of the day-to-day.

When I started writing I didn't expect anyone to bother reading it of their own volition, but I pinned a link on this blog anyway, as a lot of traffic goes through here reading the junk I put up. With only my own profile as publicity I have now had over 600 visitors.

I like the idea of a fictionalised blog, and I now wish I hadn't killed off my main character so i could continue the story. You can swap from character to character in the narrative with each entry. You can treat blog entries like chapters, a diary, a dialogue, a monologue etc.

I've always loved short fiction as I feel that it takes a fair bit of skill to get the reader involved in a shorter form.

I used to buy Penguin Mini Classics and I'd always have one or two on me for the tram or train ride to and from work. You can now buy Kindle Shorts,  short stories, essays and novellas that are downloadable to your Kindle, Android or iDevice.

So now I am going to try entering some competitions and see what happens. There's no harm in trying.

The Writing Bar has some good resources and features details on upcoming competitions, like the Big Issue's annual fiction competition. That's the first one I'm trying for.
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