Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Short Of It by Tara Lyons

Ghosts Electric was the first published anthology I wrote a short story for, and I had my reservations. While I love to read novellas or a two-page story spread in magazines, I never thought it was something I’d be able to successfully master.

A collage of promotional images put
together by the authors involved
with the second anthology I have a
short story published in
     During my youth, I wrote untold amounts of small stories in notepads and colourfully designed hardback books and treasured them for many years. But they were just for me. A collection of ideas that one day I hoped would evolve and grow and become a full-length novel. Those stories have never managed to make it out of the dusty drawer – and that’s probably a good thing – but I do finally have the ideas I need to make those novels. And, regardless of age and my state of imagination, the basic premise of writing is that the story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. But, when you’re doing that in just a few hundred or thousand words, is it satisfying enough for the reader? What is it that entices (or deters) you to read a short story?

     I used to read at least one novel a week, but things have changed drastically in the last five months. It’s probably due to the fact I’ve been writing book two, but it’s also because of life in general. We all play a variety of roles in our day to day lives and wish for just a few extra hours every day to devote to reading time. Because of this, my focus has turned to novellas. Now, I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m starting to love the idea of them – and collections of short stories. For me, it’s much easier to dip in and out; I’m getting a glimpse of a character’s life and their story but without the complex history of that person. It’s also nice that these certain novellas compliment a series or are a prequel to another book, so when I, hopefully, have the opportunity for more of a meaty read, it’s waiting for me.

     I’ve also began actively looking for magazines and websites which publish short stories, both to read and submit too. I’m constantly making notes for my flash fiction, but haven’t submitted for any competitions yet… I still hold the fear of not getting the short story on point. But, so much has already happened for me in the last year, who knows where these short stories may lead. Just six months ago, I’d never written a spooky, Halloween story. So, I must thank Karen Bush and the Dark Sparks team for creating Ghosts Electric and giving me the opportunity to widen my writing scope. And now, it feels quite surreal that my second short story has just been published in another anthology, Dark Minds (see below for more details), but I’m very proud of it. I understand writing short stories is like a mini-workout for my most active muscle.

The cover of Dark Minds - a collection of crime short
stories, with all proceeds donated to Hospice UK
and Sophie's Appeal
     Dark Minds is a crime charity collection of short stories from a variety of indie and traditionally published authors, and was released on 13th December. The net proceeds from Dark Minds will be donated to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal. Publishers Bloodhound Books created the idea and have put a lot of work into getting this collection off the ground. I hope it’s a huge success, and if you’re a short story reader, take a look and let me know what you think.

Click here to buy your copy from Amazon UK

Click here to buy your copy from Amazon US

Click here to buy your copy from other retailers

3 comments:

Jan Edwards said...

looks good!

madwippitt said...

I love short stories! Perfect for bedtime when you really can't have yet another late night ... and writing-wise, perfect for when you don't have the time to sit and thrash out the full length book ...

Dennis Hamley said...

The good short story is 'virtuoso witing', the great Jan Mark always said, and who's to say she was wrong?