I like to alternate between longer and shorter work. The novels give me the opportunity to dig deep into a character’s life, make him or her the complex character we humans tend to be. It allows me to add layers to a story. The short stories and picture books, on the other hand, keep me on my toes. They force me to be concise and precise. They keep me from fluffing up a story.

I see my short stories as études, short compositions to improve my writing techniques. It’s where I focus on one plot, one story line, one character, and one page. The novels are my symphonies, where all my writing skills come – or should come – together, where the plot is complex, and the characters not easily pinned down as good or bad.


With the three previous posts, this blog post is part of the Writing Process Blog Tour. Go visit Donna Weidner and Gary Fabbri for the next round of peeking into a writer’s kitchen.