29 October, 2005

SciFi Wire interview

There is an interview with me over at SciFiWire.

The out-takes are here at John Joseph Adams's blog.


Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

You're insane! Short stories are so much harder to write well than novels.

30 October, 2005 01:36  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Nah, you can keep your eye on all the elements in a short story. A novel is so big they slide away from you and have to be tracked on spreadsheets and other nonsense. She says gloomily, about to dive into Little Peach again.

30 October, 2005 15:41  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Nah, there's more room to mess about, to experiment in a novel. In a short story if even one word is in the wrong place it wrecks the whole story. Not so for a novel which can have a whole ending that sucks, e.g. Motherless Brooklyn and still be a really fine novel. The short story form is completely unforgiving, there's no slack. They're much much harder to get right.

What's more novels are way more fun to work on, cause unlike a short story there are always new bits and parts you forgot about to delight you. With a short story you're looking at the same small amount of words over and over and over again. Aaargggh!!!

31 October, 2005 01:59  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Yes, but it's easier to see the word that's wrong in a short story, because the structure is so simple. I agree that it's unforgiving, but it also gives you such a small arena to sin in that you can't go really wrong for really long. And it's easier to rewrite the whole thing as an experiment - you can do it in a day or two, rather than a month or two.

Short stories are like contract work - you can keep a cheerful eye on where you might be working next week. Novels are like waged work, where you can't imagine it ever ending.

*puts head on desk and sheds tear or two*

31 October, 2005 06:08  
Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

Wow, you have SUCH a different take on it. For me short stories are the endless, hopeless struggle, not novels. You can rewrite them a hundred times and they can still suck. It's knowing which of the words aren't right that's the trick. No easy task.

With a novel you have a whole world, a whole universe to play in. You can make it how you will. I always feel so free when I'm working on a novel; so constricted and weighed down when working on a short story.

Novels are VERY forgiving. I doubt there's a novel out there that isn't flawed in some way, but it just doesn't matter. What's good about a novel is so complicated and rich that it doesn't matter if some bits of it don't quite work. That's never ever true of a short story. If one thing is broke then game over (I'm speaking here about reading, rather than writing them).

31 October, 2005 08:22  

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