Originally, I thought that this blog would be a place for me to write just short scenes, but after the first one I found myself writing short stories. They are almost always just first drafts, so they are still in need of some work. But when I finish one, I'm too excited about posting it to take a long time to edit and rework it. Don't worry, though, because KVB gives me plenty of great feedback (even when she knows it can make me grumpy). She really is a great editor.
For me, the whole process of writing short stories and posting them is a learning experience. I like to try out different styles and different types of stories. Some of them, like "Canyon Blues," just spring out of my head in one sitting, while others, like "Oracle Bones," are something that I have to work harder at. I know that they are not perfect, but I have found that it is much easier to decide what I like in other people's stories than it is to create my own. That is part of the challenge and part of the learning experience that I am going through when I post. For example, I wanted parts of "Oracle Bones" to be tense or creepy, but creating that type of atmosphere is something that I will have to work harder at in the future. And setting up "A Betting Man" for an ending that I thought would be humorous wound up feeling a little forced as well. I think my best stories are the ones that just spilled out of me like "Sighs from the Underground" and "Sorrow, Soul, and the Good Life." There are others that have yet to make it to the blog because even though they started with a good idea, I haven't been able to find a whole story in them yet.
The other great thing about trying to write this length of story is that it has given me a whole new appreciation for the short story form. Growing up, I read lots and lots of novels, but I never really got into short stories. Consequently, novels are what I have always wanted to write the most, and the way I think about story has been more in line with the structure and length of a novel. Once I started trying to write stories for this blog, I found myself enjoying reading shorter stories a lot more. It feels like I have just discovered a whole new library of things worth reading.