Writing Road Blocks

So apparently my problem is not that I don’t know how to write fiction. The problem is actually that I don’t know how to write short stories. I’ve been focusing so completely on finding inspiring characters and then letting those characters tell their own stories that I end up opening these gigantic cans of worms, or in dearest S’s words “Why do you keep starting novels?!?” Yeah. Point taken. And that is indeed my problem right now.

Since I’ve spent the last year keeping what writing I was doing to a mere 365 words per day, I was worried that I’d have a hard time coming up with enough to say. And that’s not been a problem either. Once I get going, the story just unfolds and unfolds. Until I sit back and think, hmmmm, I’m going to have to step in here and either figure out how to just end it or else I’m going to have to just go ahead and write a novel and post it in chapters. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I’d really like to get more comfortable with the whole process before I commit to such a thing.

S recommended that I Google “minute fiction” and/or “flash fiction.” The former are entire fiction stories in 300-500 words, the latter are fiction stories in 1000 words or less. I’m totally comfortable writing within word restraint, obviously, but I’m not entirely comfortable writing fiction within a word constraint, if that makes any sense. I’m struggling with cutting off a character’s voice before they’ve had their right say.

Maybe I could go ahead and write them out and then pick the most interesting piece of their story to polish and post?

I know I’m over thinking this. It’s doubt in my ability. Even though S tells me I’m doing good and should keep going (and if anyone was going to tell me to pack it in, it would be him, in the most caring way possible of course), I’m second-guessing myself to the point of writing paralysis.

I need to put my brain down and walk away. Just focus on the writing and the deadline. Which is fast approaching.

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