Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer
I think in poetry it’s easier to bridge that chasm or at least it is for me. You have a vision and very few words (comparatively) and I usually end up pretty satisfied with the final result. With short stories, it seems much harder. Often when it is finished I think that there is much more that I wanted to say or it’s not quite where I wanted it to be. If only I could pluck the image from my mind and it would miraculously appear on paper. Another reason why I think the short story format is the hardest form to write. Talking with my aunt and uncle last night about Listowel Writer’s Week, they recommended I read more Irish short story writers…they are considered by many to be masters of the form. Writers like Frank O’Connor, Brian Friel, Maeve Brennan, John B. Keane, I wonder if they ever felt that they didn’t quite get it right.
Today, take a piece of finished work and analyze in this way. Is there something else you wanted to say that you didn’t, did the story fill in the gaps from your mind to the paper? Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag