May Roundtable on Short Stories

Yo! SASS here. Finger snaps to those who participated in Keys to the Asylum in honor of National Short Story Month. Before we close out May, I present you with another roundtable, this time about Short Stories.

Here are the following participants:

Y. Correa

Synful Desire

Queen of Spades

Adonis Mann

C. Desert Rose

and

Guess who?

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For this roundtable, I did things a bit differently. I presented some questions and did a first come, first serve as it pertains to responses. (Note: One question will be left unanswered.) The questions are as follows:

1. What is your philosophy on short stories? 

2. Where do you get the inspiration for your short stories?

3. Which story was the most difficult for you to write and why? (If you can’t decide on just one, you may pick more than one.)

4. Was there a story you thought deserved a price point (or higher one) but in the end, you decided to offer it for free or less? If so, which was it and what drove you to that decision?

5. What is the biggest misconceptions readers have about short stories?

6. Think about the story you submitted for Concordant Vibrancy: Unity. Did having a set theme help or hinder your creativity, and why?

7. If you haven’t written a novel yet, do you aspire to write one (if so, then why; if not, then why not)? If you are used to writing novels, does writing short stories take you out of your comfort zone (if so, then why; if not, then why not)?

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First to respond is Y. Correa who decided to answer question #2.

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Where do you get the inspiration for your short stories?

My inspiration comes from everything and every one. I might be sitting at the park people watching and see someone pass by and that might spark a story. I might want to indulge in something special to eat and then have an idea for a short story. However, for the most part, inspiration comes from my love for science, history and the inexplicable.

Next we have Synful Desire who tried her hand at question #4.

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Was there a story you thought deserved a price point (or higher one) but in the end, you decided to offer it for free or less? If so, which was it and what drove you to that decision?

I actually would have loved a price point to have been placed on Handy as a solo because of how detailed the plot was, and because it was so different than what I was writing. The decision was more up to the publisher than me. Yet, it being included along with my other stories in Delectable Things: Special Edition somewhat makes up for my initial disappointment.

Rather than waiting to go last, I selected question #6.

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Think about the story you submitted for Concordant Vibrancy: Unity. Did having a set theme help or hinder your creativity, and why? 

Man! Man! You would think that having a theme would help, but in this instances, I did struggle a bit. I tend to relish a bit of danger and violence in my works (just a little … okay a lot), so Unity made me think of everyone coming out with “We are the World” or holding hands. It took a minute but I was able to put my own little twist while still remaining true to my form.

Close behind is Queen of Spades. After much thought, she chose question #1.

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What is your philosophy on short stories?

My philosophy on short stories is that they provide a balance: just enough to entice the reader without the bulk of a full fledged novel. Short stories can also be used to whet one’s appetite once an author decides to release longer reads. If a reader really enjoys a person’s short story, then he is more than likely willing to take a chance on a novel because they have a similar construct. That’s different than someone who is transitioning from one way of writing (like poetry) to short story writing. However, just because the story is short on word count doesn’t mean one is robbed of rich characters or riveting conflict. On the same token, if your short story writing leaves a lot to be desired, it’s the logical conclusion that a reader won’t rush to get your novel either. When in doubt, make the short story stand out.

A Mann arrives … Adonis Mann, that is, to give his views on question #3.

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Which story was the most difficult for you to write and why? (If you can’t decide on just one, you may pick more than one.)

The story that I have the most difficulty writing isn’t even released yet. I’m actually still writing it. The hardest part about this story for me was the fact that is was so outside of the mold for me, if you will. The subject matter is touching more on Urban Erotica than LGBT Erotica and the main character is really hard for me to identify with. I can connect with him just fine, I just can’t seem to identify with him.

At one point I even considered chucking the story altogether, so I had to reach out to my Publisher and Mentor for their advice. Very wise women, I might add. My Mentor told me to not give up on it. Just because it was outside of my comfort zone did not mean that it wasn’t a good story, or a story worth telling.

Having talked to them really helped me not give up on that story but continue moving forward with it. It might be hard to complete, but it’s a story worth telling.

Last but certainly not least, C. Desert Rose gives her analysis on question #7.

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If you haven’t written a novel yet, do you aspire to write one (if so, then why; if not, then why not)? If you are used to writing novels, does writing short stories take you out of your comfort zone (if so, then why; if not, then why not)? 

Full Length novels seems to be my forte. It is with writing short stories that I have difficulty.
Suffice it to say that, yes, writing short stories pulls me completely out of my comfort zone. For a long time I thought that short stories weren’t sufficient to tell an entire story. I learned not too long ago that that’s by no means the case. However, for me (and this is strictly a C. Desert Rose thing) it is hard to tell an entire story in short form. Somehow or another I did accomplish a couple of times. Yet, it’s still a work in progress for me to sum my stories up in short from. This is mostly due to the fact that my stories typically have many layers. Because of that, I go into great detail about the aspects therein. With short stories I have to continually tell myself to curb the layers, and keep them straight forward and to the point.
 
I hope to become a short story master some day in the future but it’s going to take loads of practice.
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Another roundtable has come to an end. Stay tuned for what we have in store for June.

DR

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