The last few weeks I’ve mainly been working on three short stories – one as an exclusive for newsletter subscribers, and two to submit to other places. When/if they are published I will post links and tell you more about them.
What I have learnt from doing this is that editing is hard work. I sort of knew that already, but this has reinforced that. Every word is up for grabs, and you go through questioning your choice of all of them. One tool I’ve started using, which has really helped me with this, is ProWritingAid (affiliate link). This has a whole series of reports looking at your grammar, style, over-used words, sentence lengths, etc. It has completely changed how I look at my writing, and how I choose which words to use. I don’t always agree with what it suggests, but using it has definitely helped make my writing stronger.
I have enjoyed writing short stories for a change; writing to a theme and switching between them. The three of them are completely different: one is about redemption, one a fairy story and the third is a story about setting out on an adventure. They’re all under two thousand words, but that brevity has been hard come by. In numerous places I had to balance describing the setting vs showing the emotional response of the character. Both are important, but which is most important in each occasion? Now I wait to see if I’ve got those judgements right and whether they are accepted.