At last count (yesterday evening), I have eight short stories in various stages of completion and starting points for two longer works (future novels, mayhap?). I’ve been striving to write at least a couple of hundred words a day on _something_, if for no other reason than to keep my writing sharp. I’ve also found that I tend to think about my stories more, even if only in the back of my mind while working on other things, if I work on them on a regular basis. It usually surprises where I get inspiration from for the next bit in each story when I have them constantly tumbling around in my brain.
I’ve also found that when I get a new idea for a story, just writing a quick statement about it doesn’t always help me remember the idea well enough. I’ve been stymied by my own well-intended notes to myself on more than one occasion. I’ll read a note like ‘they don’t see me’ and then wonder what in the heck I was thinking about, what world I was envisioning, when I wrote that note. So, I have taken to actually taking time to write out the scene playing in my head in a fair amount of detail, just so I can come back it later, read it, and go, “Oh, yeah! I remember that, and I even remember where I want to go with it!” As a result this means I am collecting more and more unfinished short stories in my files, which is fine with me since that gives me plenty of options for stories to work on. Some have more complete mental outlines than others, so those are usually the ones I work on first. The rest sit and stew a bit and as I come up with new snippets to continue the story, I add those.
I can’t wait to get the next one finished, though. My goal is to complete three short stories within the next three months. Seems like a pretty attainable goal.
Just out of curiosity, for you writers out there, anything less than 7,500 words is considered a short story. What do you consider to be an appropriate and adequate length for a good, well-developed short story? And approximately how many words do you write per session?