Content ©Marlene Banks 2018
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Long and Short of Writing Stories

My Generations series of short stories was born from a need for practice. I wanted to become proficient in writing the short story or at least much shorter than my past novels. Writing short stories or novellas is an entirely different focus for me and I admit it's a bit intimidating. Most writers start crafting short stories early in their writing journey. I did too but that was while I was in school as a kid. By the end of high school I was already on the novel writing track. I never cared to write short stories again except for a few writing contests years later but I quickly realized I'd lost the skill by then. Crafting novels gives me room to stretch my literary limbs with all the bells and whistles of storytelling. Character building (my favorite), injecting circumstance, detailing environment, adding relevant background and action, using secondary characters that move the plot along with unexpected twists and turns. It's like building a world from your imagination and the constraints of human reality (in most but not all cases). I can wallow in the epic sweep of a story and delve into the deeper less obvious observations. For me, those are the things that make a reader engage with the story. In a short story that luxury is not permitted or practical. You have to concisely make your plot and point and the minimal action had better do the character developing for you. I'm a wordy individual so short story writing is not something I do all that well. At one point I didn't bother with it. I accepted it as not being my thing and forgot about it. However, I began considering the shortened attention span of people in this culture because of technology, quick sound bites and short videos. Long novels are good for some people, real lovers of reading, but shorter, more concise seems to be the incoming trend even for pleasure reading. That got me wanting to develop better skills in short story telling. It is a very different writing experience but I am always up for expanding and improving my writing abilities. The series is a collection of seven novellas that highlight the generational character of three particular families. They follow the spiritual DNA from as far back as the colonial days, for some, up to the twenty first century. The goal is to finish all seven by the end of 2019, I'd appreciate a little prayer for that schedule. As of today, the first story, Land and Legacy, Shepherd Family is out with Followers of the Light, Carpenter Family being released in a few weeks.






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