The lost art of short stories

I sold a short story last week.

Actually if I’m being entirely accurate, I placed a reprint last week as sold implies I’m getting paid and I’m not, nor is it a new story. I also received a really good rejection from Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine for a story I’d sent them encouraging me to send them more.

This makes me feel a little sad because I don’t write short stories any more, not good ones at least. I used too. I’ve sold around 25 or so stories, some several times over and have only a handful unsold. The one F&SF rejected is, in my opinion, my best story – sold or unsold. I wrote it in 2007. Since then I’ve had perhaps one half-decent idea for a short story; I’m not happy with how that one turned out so there’s nothing to send F&SF..

So what has changed? I just don’t seem to have the ideas I used to for short works. They’re all novel length ideas these days, and I just don’t write quickly enough to contemplate developing an idea unless it feels really strong. I’d like to write some more short pieces; something that is complete in a matter of weeks rather than years, but without the ideas I’m stuck writing novels. Speaking of which the sequel to adventure fantasy novel is at 63k.

Oh, and what a good win for Southampton at Old Trafford! I watched the match on TV with a group of Man Utd supporters – very satisfying.