For about six months, I was regularly working on a short story that made me inspired and proud. I kept it in the box of a “short story” because that’s all it was in my mind. I wouldn’t let it grow past that stage because it would become too hard to control and manage. Then I put it away for about another six months because I didn’t know how to end it or what to do with it anymore. The plot stirring in my brain and the depth I wanted to go into with the characters had naturally grown past a short story and into a mini novella.
A ‘mini novella’ is the best description right now. Novella’s start at about 17,000 words and mine is 11,000. The most important part is not to focus on the word count so I don’t freeze up. It’s more valuable to allow the story to take the shape it needs, even if it doesn’t fit into the prettiest box when it’s complete.
If novellas interest you, check out this New Yorker article, which describes some of the history of them and also recommends the author’s favorites.
I started writing it again at the beginning of 2016 for two reasons. A. I have a general idea of how I want it to end. B. It was annoying to leave a project I am proud of, unfinished.
My final decision is that this is a work that will be shared. Lately I’ve been listening to punk rock/low fi/eclecto musician, Kathleen Hanna. She’s been in multiple bands, from her punk rock days in Bikini Kill, then a solo artist Julie Ruin, then another group Le Tigre and most recently a group show as The Julie Ruin.
In The Punk Singer, a documentary about her music career, she describes that she literally created the Julie Ruin album in her bedroom. She feels that girl’s bedrooms are places of creativity but the products often are secret and she choose to share hers.
I thought about my story and decided that I would share it, perhaps by printing out copies and/or creating it’s own website when completed. I’m not expecting it to feel as special to anyone else, but this is a perfect piece to share.