Sunday, July 31, 2011

Questions come and questions go

This morning Patti Abbott posted 13 questions for short story writers on her blog, pattinase. After I answered them in the comments section, she changed the original post and eliminated 12 of the questions!

So here are her original questions and my responses:

1. How often do you finish the rough draft of a story in one sitting?

I don't write rough drafts, but I do occasionally write a complete story in one sitting.

2. What is the average length of time it takes you to finish a polished story?

Actual writing time? From a few hours up to about 10 hours, Rarely more. Rarely less. However, years may pass between the time I make notes for a story I'd like to write and when I actually write it.

3. Do you outline your stories?

Rarely, and never in detail.

4. Do most of your story ideas come from your own life, stories you read about, a flash of an idea? What?

They come from everywhere. Lately I've been writing for a lot of anthologies so calls for submission are sparking many of my new story ideas.

4. How do you know when a story is truly done?

When it gets published.

5. Do you have someone read it before sending it out?


6. Do you take suggestions seriously or are you your own best critic?

I am my own best critic. But if an editor with the power to accept a story suggests a change I'll certainly try to accommodate the suggestion.

7. Do you let it sit or send it out immediately?

Immediately, if there's a market. Occasionally I write a story and have to wait for the market to find me.

8. Do you read your story aloud?


9. Do you simultaneously submit if there are no restrictions?


10. How do you decide where to send it? What is the most unusual place you have placed a story?

These days I usually write-to-market so I know where I'm sending the story before I ever write it.

11. Do you often rewrite a story months later, suddenly seeing what was wrong with it?

Rarely these days, but I did when I was a beginning writer.

12. Do you like reading your stories once they appear in print or do you get the queasy feeling you could have done better?

A published story is the best I could write at the time I wrote it. Even if I could do better now, I can't change the story. So, I find it better to look forward and strive to improve rather than look backward and fret about what could have been.

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