Even on my greatest triumphs... I emerge dusty and victorious from the writing lair, gripping tightly to a short work of fiction that truly is short, and holding it aloft with the pride of a jungle warrior brandishing proof of bravery and competence amongst the tribe...
I give it to readers... and they A) tell me "this is not a short story, this is clearly an exert." (Crumpling defeat, I retreat to my lair and glare at offending short, which is not somehow "completely
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...or... B) "I loved it! Where's the rest of it? I want it to go on!!!"
The truth is, I sometimes feel a little trapped by long fiction. I write long all the time, it's in my blood and bones, (it would seem) and I can't escape it.
But sometimes I just want to dabble a little in a brand new sparkly world, and I want that dabble to last no longer than perhaps a day or two.
And then I want to return to the lengthy behemoths that are consuming my weeks, months and years.
(Because I truly do want to finish them!!!!)
So I dash off a small handful of scenes that illustrate a glimpse of a scene or a plot-line, a pivotal moment in a character arc, or a unique event. And then readers go "We Want To Read More About This!!!"
And I feel a little trapped by that! Because I want readers to be happy, I want to let their feedback guide me toward my best work that will resonate on a deep level..
and yet, I can't go in all the directions I feel I'm being pulled.
Absolutely honestly, if enough readers clamored for a certain story to be developed more and explored... I would probably do it.
Because I want to resonate with people!!! That is why I write! :-)
But sometimes I'm not sure how to respond when people say things like that... should I ignore the urge to open those boxes back up? I'd dipped in already, and been happy to shut the lid again... but does that mean that I'm consigning a brilliant-potential-series back into the dust and cobwebs of never existing?
Am I denying the bright light reflected back from reading eyes, which is supposed to lead me on to my greatest summits of authorly creation?
And if I turn away from this sort of feedback, am I being a "selfish, self-absorbed author" who only "writes for themselves?"
(P.S. I'm not earning NEARLY enough to be writing for anyone else, at this point, but still... ;-) )
So, tell me what you think!!!
Also, if you read the Second Impressions anthology, part of the Vintage Jane Austen, let me know what you think of the story "The Mansfield"? I've had reports that story deserves to be expanded.... the idea is tantalizing, but what do you think?