Without a writing project, I have more time to read. More and more, I do that reading online, reading blogs on publishing, reading book reviews, anything that will be helpful when the time comes to query lit agents.
But I’m also reading short stories. I dabbled in short fiction writing for months before deciding to write a novel. I realized just how difficult the short form is (in part thanks to an introductory essay to Best American Short Stories 1997 by Annie Proulx) and tried the long form instead.
I find now that I want to try short fiction again. I have a better sense of character creation/development now, which is the most important and most difficult thing to do in a few thousand words.
It seems simple: create a character and stick him/her into a compelling situation and see how he/she deals with it. And yet…