Monday, November 30, 2009

What to read?

Is this the longest ‘I’m nearly there…’ in history?

I am nearly there though. (And you’re all being wonderful, tolerant and cheering me on – even though I can imagine the gritted teeth…)

I finished Zoe Heller’s The Believers on Saturday. It had an utterly unlikeable main character and I wondered what I was doing continuing to read (well, it was wonderful despite that.) She was so cruel to her children and I didn’t feel enough understanding of her past to have much compassion for her. We knew a bit… but not enough to empathise. Of course it reminded me of the mother in my own story… and do we know enough, early enough, to identify with her?

I couldn’t decide what to read next… it’s too soon to start the next book club choice. Then I saw this BBC National Short Story Award article and that was it: decision made. The short story volume, Women fly when men aren’t watching by Sara Maitland.(Sara was involved in devising The Literary Consultancy's mentoring scheme.)
I think the universe is trying to tell me something because I’ve just received my prize from Salt Publishing of a copy of Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of a Short Story, edited by Vanessa Gebbie.

So what’s the universe trying to tell me?

To write some short stories?

To bloody well get this draft finished so that I can try my hand at some short stories.
*

9 comments:

Queenie said...

Writing short stories inbetween drafts is a great way to keep your writing muscles exercised and learn some new aspects of the craft. I find that my short story writing helps my book writing and vice versa. (And my teeth are not gritted, not even slightly.)

Cathy said...

I love writing stories, the shorter the better. They just suit how I write, I think. Though sadly my stories are all too dark for the womag market.

I've put the Salt book on my Xmas list (OK, I've ordered it for son to give me!) and am really looking forward to reading it.
Cx

SpiralSkies said...

There does seem to be a flourishing short story market at the mo, with 'darker' stories coming back into fashion. It's definitely a different discipline but I suspect you'd write them very well.

*Grits teeth* "Come on, you're nearly there...' ;)

Carol said...

I loved the short story you showed me (the one that made me laugh at the end) so I know that your going to be great!!

Now, get writing woman and finish that novel!!

C x

Debs said...

I'm hopeless at short stories, but think they're a great discipline (for me anyway).

ChrisH said...

I've found writing short stories very demanding but it certainly sharpens you up.
I love seeing what you're reading - some unusual and interesting choices (I'm really pleased Sara Maitland's on that short list btw).

Lane said...

I had trouble with The Believers too. I don't think I even finished it.

Agree with Spiral - there does seem to be much more of a shorts market now, with room for different genres.

Ps - you're nearly there:-)

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I am so pleased to hear a copy of Short Circuit has got all the way to you! Thats very exciting. I would love to know what you think of the book - we have a dedicated website now, courtesy of the lovely Tania Hershman and I am collecting quites form writers!
www.theartoftheshortstory.com
is a bit of a mounthful but never mind!

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