I made a goal to write ten short stories during the month of February. The month is half over, and I've written five, but I'm nowhere near "finished."
I tried to follow the NaNo formula of write first, edit later, though I prefer to do some editing as I'm writing. Without giving too much away (because first drafts are shit), here's what I have so far:
Story One: Okay, needs minimal editing (as apposed to a major overhaul). Probably my best imitation of Amy Hempel to date, but it's almost too spare. More a sketch that a fully-formed story, but if I brought it to a workshop as is, I wouldn't be completely embarrassed by it.
Story Two: Eh. Okay. Some of the characters need to be fleshed out, and I rushed the ending, but I'm not giving up on it.
Story Three: I like this one, or at least, I don't actively hate it. I know where the problems are. At worst it's a little precious, but I like the characters I created. I might have to drop a piano on someone to give it a little edge.
Story Four: Awful. I tried to write a female character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but all I have to show for it is an extended rant. Expendable.
Story Five: Aka, the thing that's been giving me the most grief. I should be happy, because it started out as a piece of experimental short fiction when I noticed "hey, there's a real voice in here somewhere." That voice is at turns eloquent and painfully stilted, and it's a little hard to maintain it throughout the entire thing. I like that I've got the same kind of zeitgeist-y thing Adrian Tomine has in his graphic short story, "Bomb Scare", but it's also a little too reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book I hated.
Reading for Inspiration:
Susuan Minot - Lust and Other Stories
Adrian Tomine - Summer Blonde
Charles Baxter - The Art of Subtext