I've just added another blog to the list below. THE ELEPHANT IN THE WRITING ROOM has got a wonderful post on the writing of short stories. It features a story by Vanessa Gebbie which I would recommend you get hold of but don't be put off reading the blog. It contains many wise words about what makes a good short story.
I can't recommend it highly enough. In fact, I will certainly steal from the ideas and exercises. Each chapter is written by a different prize winning author and they all teach Creative Writing, so are excellent communicators. There's a little list of their own favourite stories at the end of each chapter too and space for notes at the back. It's a great textbook but is so interesting and readable that I'm practically walking round with it.
Best of all, it makes me want to flex my writing muscles. So...
I am still here! This long silence is what happens when a deadline draws near. I am going to enter my novel for the Harry Bowling prize and I have been have a late flurry of redrafting. This is in the light of a couple of critiques which have been very useful. Never be afraid of getting work critiqued at any stage! Now, I can read the first chapter without a twinge of doubt. Of course, there is the searing stab of doubt that ruptures a few organs periodically but that's a life issue as much as a writing one.
No, the twinge business has gone because I feel that the first chapter is as good as it is going to ever get. I really do. Really. No, honestly.
I've started something new. Gah! All my fine words.
Don't care really. Perhaps it was the novel in a month business I keep hearing about although I hate to think what the results would be if I tried that. Very bad coccydynia, I guess. I've written a potential chapter one and am now going to make myself write an entire synposis (that was such a nice typo I'm leaving it in). I think it might save me some serious editing in the long run but maybe it won't.
I wrestle with the conflicting thoughts that say, stick with what you know and get better at it and try another way, explore new territory. Perhaps I should think of a pseudonym and do both.