I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces. ~Harold Ross
Yesterday, during my interview I was talking about my love of short stories and my somewhat new love of poetry. Since I started writing poetry with intent to publish, I rarely if ever write short stories anymore. The interviewer asked if I might want to explore that, why do I find poetry so much easier? Well for one there’s a definite ending in my mind. My short story that has been published is still not finished. I think about editing it, rewriting it, changing the characters and the ending often. When I finish a poem it’s done. There is a finality about poetry that I haven’t found with shorts. Many shorts seem to linger on indefinitely, or at least mine do.
I don’t know if this quote is “tongue-in-cheek” but it would make a good writing exercise so today maybe give it a try. Pick your favorite words or phrases and scatter them in no particular order on the page. Then go back and fill in the spaces. Aim for 250-300 words. If that sounds too daunting try it with poetry. Fill in the blanks. Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag