More About Short Stories? Always

I admitted before to my near-obsession with short stories. Now I just randomly happened upon this thread about stories that “blew you away” on the Poets & Writers Speakeasy (I think you have to sign in to read it). There are so many stories mentioned that I haven’t even read!

But this comment about children’s books made me sort of want to cry:

also- “The Falls” – – by george saunders – to me this story is absolutely brilliant – – my favorite story of all time – what happened to saunders ?? childrens books ? jeez

It’s not George Saunders; I love his stories. It’s me. I’m still trying to reconcile this, I guess.

I want to write for young adults and also continue to write what I usually write, literary fiction. Who says I can’t do both? Anyone, anyone? Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala I’m not listening.

(Real mature.)

But hey! I’m still revising that short story for the summer workshop… getting close…

Do you know that one short story (litfic) can take me longer to write—if you factor in all the months for each of the drafts over the years—than an entire young adult novel? That may have been a very unhealthy thing to confess. I was trying to explain it to e yesterday… It’s because every. single. word. matters*. Still, I have to finish revising this story today.


* Which just so happens to be how I’m treating D: the novel I’m writing now. I hope that making every. single. word. matter doesn’t slow me down too much. I actually have a deadline for this one.

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4 responses to “More About Short Stories? Always”

  1. You can totally write both…you can do whatever it is you wish to do. Can someone be wildly successful at both? I want to say yes…but maybe that’s because I want to be able to write whatever I want and still put food on the table (not that my writing is putting food on the table to begin with…but…I digress)


  2. I like Philip Kerr’s very literate mysteries about post-war Germany. My children love his Children of the Lamp Books. Michael Chabon seems to have had a lot of fun with Summerland, and that’s not stopping him from putting out good fiction. So, there are certainly people who do both.

    Also, it seems to me that the way you sell (or donate!) literary short stories is just so different from how you get a YA novel out there, that the one probably does not at all detract from the other. Probably a harder thing to pull off is the mystery writer who’d like to do literary fiction.

    But the real truth is that you have to write what you want to write. Because that’s where the fun is.


  3. George is also one of the nicest people I ever met. Seriously, he is just so fucking talented and humble and smart and kind- and funny! Guy is painfully funny. After Red Hour’s adaptation of “Civilwarland in Bad Decline” was going nowhere and Universal put it into turnaround -and with due cause, it was a Rob Schrab/Dan Harmon script; I love Rob and Dan’s work but they totally missed the theme and tone of the story, so why bother adapting it?- anyways, George offered to take a whack at the script, on spec as I recall. We didn’t exactly wait with baited breath, after all a lot of people who can write novels can’t do a screenplay (Mark Helprin’s adaptation of his own Winter’s Tale was…. less than stellar) but George totally hit the ball out of the park with a funny, creepy, sweet and ultimately haunting screenplay… I like George a lot. And his writin’.


  4. Thank you for the assurance, Mella and BL!

    Oslowe: You met George Saunders AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME?! Do you know how much I love CivilWarland?! I have to sit down.


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