What defines a writer’s style?
Personally, I think it’s as unique as a fingerprint because it takes every single aspect and element of writing to create a style–it can vary from details as tiny as the different words for similar things such as soda versus pop (if that sounds like a familiar reference, I applaud you, though I wasn’t trying to be clever or punny referencing one of my favorite characters on modern television) to as large as the genres they work with.
Length is a large part of genre. In several instances, it’s a key indication of a certain genre–a general fiction novel can average about 80,000 words while a scifi or fantasy novel needs to be at 90,000 or so at a bare minimum to be a piece of that particular genre. Why? It doesn’t take many words to describe what a regular old notebook is. It takes even more to describe the technology and logic behind a holographic book or an enchanted scroll that can translates languages depending on the origin of the ink.
As I work on the Diary of Eloise Vacarro, not only do I feel like I’m struggling with the format, but I also believe I’m struggling with the length.
A short story ranges between 1,000 and 40,000 words long. I’m almost at a quarter of the maximum before it’s a novella. What’s my problem? I want the length to be reasonable for a 99-cent short story, yet I need it to feel complete. Why is this a problem? What I thought was a short story is actually more complex than I had originally thought.
As a piece is a living entity of its own like a child is to a parent, it seems like all the pieces will be novellas at the least and I want to at least have a few short stories. However, that may not be the case.
If that’s how it is, then that’s how it is. However, I still want to try and create short pieces related to the larger body of work to the best of my abilities. I want to try; also like a child, I cannot force what isn’t possible. If I can’t, then I can’t.
However, this is a big issue for me because I wonder if this goes beyond this particular universe, that it’s just not in me to write short stories at all.
Why is that an issue?
I want to write short stories too! I want variety!
I’m aware of how I write poetry; the ability comes in random bursts that must be acted upon or else it’s gone forever. Almost every poem was written at the spur of the moment and then left to be with minor editing for typos while others were edited several times. Those were closer to being commissions, but the motivation to be written for another to that extend may not count if they chose over half the words (no offense to my old professor, but that really dehydrates a piece from the original writer’s touch and makes it theirs, and at that point, it’s not as great of a piece and was technically just typed by a representative…).
I have several ideas for different short stories not related to the universe of my other piece, but I have my fair share of struggles with that too. The Diary of Eloise Vacarro just happens to be the one I’m stuck obsessing over the most right now because I’m struggling with it the least–a lot of the world was already built, even if it wasn’t written down yet.
I’ll try and get started on several idea, possibly just turning my brain off and letting my fingers play on the keyboard.
Keep an eye out for updates.