I’m writing short stories at the moment. A few seem to be working out okay; others are garbage fires.
I’m really struggling with my characters. When I’ve tried 500-1,000 word flash fiction in the past, that wasn’t so much of a problem. And writing a novel is delicious because you have the luxury of space. But to create complex, sympathetic characters in about 3,000 words is tough.
One of my favourite writers, Stephen Donaldson, put it this way: “I want all my characters to have dignity.” Real people do, for the most part, have dignity, because they have a history that explains them. But to give that to fictional characters in such a short space, in an entertaining way — it’s hard!
But it’s a good challenge. And I’m having fun.