Category Archives: God Corp.

What do you <3 or hate about short stories?

Every form of fiction has its benefits and its drawbacks. I’d like to explore each kind one at a time. In my previous pros/cons post I wrote about novels. Feel free to add your thoughts to the discussion there.

But what about other forms of fiction? They have different benefits and drawbacks of their own, along with the shared features of novels.

Short Stories

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Benefits:

  • They are short.  🙂  Short stories are perfect for those afternoon breaks when you have only a few minutes to yourself, but you really need to escape.
  • Many times they come in collections of other short stories, giving you many different worlds to experience in one sitting.
  • They interface with your imagination.  🙂  You get no pictures (or few, usually), and you aren’t actually involved in the story, but you get to take what you read and make it real for you.
  • You can read them any time you’re free of distractions.
  • Other benefits?

Drawbacks:

  • They are short.  🙂  If you want to explore a world in depth with subplots and secondary characters, you’re not going to get much chance here.
  • Endings, often done as “twists” or abrupt conclusions, can be difficult to create and sometimes difficult to believe.
  • They can’t show you anything that you can’t imagine. If the author fails to explain approximately how large the monster is, then the reader either has to make that part up or feel lost.
  • It can be difficult to enjoy them when there are noisy people nearby.
  • Other drawbacks?

What else?

Novels and short stories and plays! (omai)

Not all writing is created equal, I’ve found. I have worked on many varieties of wordsmithing throughout my studies and my career, and each version has different needs and offers different things.

The three most common (traditional) projects I work on are short stories, novels, and plays.

Short stories are like bright ideas that appear in a flash and stay for a while, playfully and periodically lighting up on my computer screen at unplanned moments. I have a lot of fun with short stories. They feel like snacks between meals, and I take my time with them. I like how compact they can be, like a booklight that folds up into a convenient size for luggage. I bring my short story ideas with me everywhere, and I play with them whenever the mood hits. Though they may take a long time to complete to my satisfaction, they rarely become tangled messes or require elaborate outlining. For me, short stories are pure fun.

Novels are different. These are writing experiences that feel like boring through dark tunnels, seeking precious light at the end of long and twisted journeys. I love working on novels. These aren’t just my snacks or my meals; they’re the entire kitchen and dining room, and the bread and salad and wine that go with the entrée. A novel is a commitment to time and energy and love. It can get scary and frustrating and even impossible without a good plan, but the payoff at the end is emotionally rewarding. Most authors, published and un, will agree that the success we feel from finishing such a novel is wonderful beyond words.

For both novels and short stories, I find that I need to see my paragraphs on the screen in order to understand how they work together. In other words, I don’t think I could dictate fiction to someone else to type out for me. Somewhere along the way I would get lost without my visual cues. In addition to that, I normally read a page or two aloud to myself as I work on first drafts and revisions just to get a different sense of the flow. This helps me hear words that might be off or misplaced, when my eye would have failed to notice.

Plays take me somewhere else entirely. When I work on a play I am both closer to my characters and farther away from them. It’s as if they’re half in shadow, half in sunlight, as I explore their feelings and reactions, but I keep an almost equal distance between the entire cast. It’s a tough act to perform, like juggling apples and bananas and oranges all at the same time. I have to handle each one properly and fairly, but I can’t hesitate too long or everything tumbles down. The theatre is one of my first true loves, and I cherish every minute I spend considering questions such as, “Will this set be possible or practical?” and “How can I get this actor off stage to change costumes?” in addition to the normal plotting questions that come up when working with fiction.

I also have to read my work aloud when I write a play, of course. However, I do it differently. If I don’t have someone else around (my husband, my brother, other friends) who can act, I sometimes have to record myself reading the lines into a microphone. For some reason I can listen to my words for short stories or novels aloud as I speak them, and I can feel my way through the proper flow. But with plays I need to sit back as an audience member and listen to the way the words sound from there – and that requires either willing friends or a recorder.

Sometimes (right now) I’m working on all three at once. This might seem overwhelming and potentially confusing, but it works for me to be able to change gears every day or two. I like to have multiple projects going at the same time so that my stories always feel fresh when I return to them.

What about you?  🙂  Are you a writer or a reader (or an audience member)? Do you have a preferred format to write or enjoy? What does it mean to you?

Inspiration

Hello again! I hope you’ve had a great week.

I’ve been trying to stay creative in this humid summer heat! It’s hard to think straight when the sun is beating down on me and the air feels like swampy water, but that’s the price we pay for Florida living.

People sometimes ask where I get ideas for my stories. That’s a tough question because there are so many answers.

The inspiration for “God Corp.” came after several people expected me to fall over with tears because it was possible Shakespeare hadn’t written any of the plays I loved. It was such a strange thing, that anyone would assume the debate somehow negated the value of his plays. I mulled this problem over for a while, and then, poof. “God Corp.” 🙂

Another story (available in a few months) came to mind when I was reading an article online about brain waves. It’s fascinating what scientists are able to learn about people through technology, and I always enjoy imagining what future inventions might bring to our everyday lives.

Once I was inspired to write an entire fantasy novel while watching a performance of Cirque du Soleil.

Anything can spark an idea if I’m in the mood for it. A strange picture, some unexpected music, or even the odd placement of an object in a room will lead me to my keyboard.

Not everything works out the way I’d like it to. But some do turn out, and those are enough to make me remember interesting conversations, bookmark weird websites, and look for inspiration in everything around me.

Afterward, I’ll never look at reality the same. It’s as though I’ve opened up a new possibility in my mind, and now the world is just a bit stranger… in a good way. 🙂

Remember when you were a kid? Everything was filled with mystery, and you were the super sleuth who was going to solve it all. Magic was real. Flying cars were a likely part of your future — they’d probably even have lasers on the front so you could shoot down enemies in battle.

Everything you saw as a kid had the potential to be bizarre and cool with just a little imagination.

I don’t think that changes when we grow up. I think many of us tuck our dreams safely inside so we don’t attract funny looks as we zoom through the mall, arms outstretched, pretending to be an airplane and half-expecting to really lift off. It’s a matter of acting grown up. Not being grown up.

That’s the fun of fiction.

So, how about you? Have you visited a magical world at night while you slept? Has a penny you picked up brought you luck? Have you noticed a coincidence and wondered whether it was actually a “sign”?

What inspires you?

Bangledorking

Hello! Welcome to my page at http://www.irenelpynn.com!

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out “God Corp.” on The Opinion Guy. Be sure to tell me what you think of it!

Another short story of mine is slated for publication in a few months. I’ll let you know more details as the date comes closer.

For now, I’m working on some other stories and editing up my novel from 2007’s NaNoWriMo. If you like a good writing challenge with a fun community, you should plan to spend this November with NaNo! I know I’m going to.

Words are so much fun. I’ve been told that English is such a wonderful mish-mash of cultures and languages that it has more words than nearly any other tongue. How cool is that? To explain any occasion, image, or feeling, we have several different options, each one with its own, special connotation and slightly different meaning. I can be happy, glad, elated, joyous, jubilant, content, or just plain excited that you’ve come to my site today. And there are many more words where that came from!

Of course, so many possibilities can lead to confusion sometimes, but what’s life without a little challenge once in a while? 🙂

Shakespeare invented his own words, too, according to scholars, and many of those words have become normal vocabulary for us today. For instance, Zany. Where would we be without that word? 🙂

Here’s a cool link to a list of words Shakespeare coined or created.

Ah, the Bard. My personal hero.

And in the spirit of Billy Shakespeare, I’m going to share a made up word with you. It’s actually one that my fiancé made up, so I can’t take credit for it myself.

Bangledork verb Bangledorked, bangledorking

Bangledork [bang-ul-dork]

— Verb
1. Sometimes followed by “around.” To relax lazily: All I did yesterday was bangledork around the house.
2. To waste time
doing nothing, or to nap in the middle of the day: My plans don’t include anything but bangledorking.

As with all words, this one has room to grow and change. Someday it may even become an adjective, as well(I love these bangledorky Saturdays, don’t you?). Feel free to use it yourself! Or — even better — share a made up word with me so I can expand my vocabulary!

I hope you enjoy bangledorking and all the fun it can bring you today. Thanks for stopping by!