There are some short stories that are rehashes of old story lines. Any writer, unless they are blessed with stylistic writing talent, should ditch those i.e. not submit them for publication and accept they were just exercises in improving their writing skills.
There are other stories that have a significant twist on what has already been written story-line-wise or have something new to say. These are the ones that should be polished and pushed out there.
There is a catch though. Sometimes what you have to say is so new that readers just don’t get it without incorporating a long explanation into the story. Those catches are when they involve technology beyond what is currently known in today’s society and beyond what the human race wants as a tool or some kind of service. I have reluctantly retired one such story, because it is way beyond day to day human experience… well, sometimes my imagination just gets carried away.
But what of the rest of my short stories that are at various stages of development?
Below is a table of those that have something very interesting to say. I’ve kept the titles to initials only because some would give away the theme, which might spoil future readers’ enjoyment.
The last two have been written and are reserved for a special purpose. They will not be doing the submission rounds for quite some while.
All the rest of the stories I have ever started to write or written are being ditched. It’s both ruthless and sad. There are some nice little pieces amongst these, but they are just that, pieces, not stories of interest. I am even considering ditching SoH, because the technology in there could be considered a little ‘too advanced’ for the readership. And I may even consider ditching Te because it could be considered ‘far too progressive’ for the readership – there is only so much explanation a story will take before it is considered more of an essay than fiction, and that is after doing somersaults in showing what I can about the characterisation.
Apart from these stories, I’ll be concentrating on writing novels. The amount of effort that goes into writing a short story is disproportionately high compared to that of writing a novel. But there again, I’ve got to the stage where I’m developing stories that have the strength and richness to be novels compared to my early days of writing, when I strictly limited myself to short stories. And that was because I was learning the art of writing.
The short stories listed above are one-off ideas that can be portrayed those lengths. But what if I come up with an idea that is only has the legs for a short story? It’s possible. But I have noticed my stories have been increasing their wordcount, despite heavy editing. It’s a natural tendency, so why should I fight it?