Ever since I was in high school, I had difficulty coming up with plots that were conducive to the short-story format. My characters tend to be well-rounded and my plots complex.
Nevertheless, recently I have been pressuring myself to write more short stories, so that I can submit them to magazines and literary journals, to see if I can get a few publishing credits under my belt. I am thinking specifically of Stephen King’s advice in On Writing… when attempting this.
Since I lit upon this idea (which was about three weeks ago), I have written two short stories. Well, a short story, and a short piece of narrative non-fiction. They both have the same theme: domestic violence.
Now, let me cut myself open a bit: I was the victim of domestic violence from Fall of 2008 to Spring of 2011. When I was in the relationship, I wanted to write about it often. However, when I escaped, I lost the urge to write about it. Now, pressed for subjects that are suitable for the short-story format, and will be attention-grabbing to potential publishers and readers, I have delved back into that part of my life.
I thought I would be angrier when considering what to write, and getting it out on paper, but I wasn’t. It went smoothly, like any other writing project. I was only upset when I posted one of them (the narrative non-fiction piece) to my Facebook, for my friends and family to read. What actually happened is known to a small amount of people. In fact, the subject matter of that piece was probably only known to four, the four people involved, and they all have very different perspectives. (Which gives me an idea: I should ask the others about their side of the story.) I don’t know why posting it made me tremble more than digging the memory back up and writing it. I’m sure some psycho-analyst could enlighten me on that (and much more involving that time period), but it’s not really that important. What’s important is that I took the story, made it flow, made the readers care for the “character,” and produced it in a short-and-not-so-sweet format.
Perhaps, if it gets published, I will take a picture of it and post it here. If not, you will see it first-hand.