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  1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Story feels rushed

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by deadrats, Sep 9, 2019.

    I recently finished a short story that has been through several drafts. For some reason, I feel like the story is rushed. It's about 4k words so length wise it's hitting the mark, but when I read through it it feels rushed and like it's moving too quickly. This isn't a matter of too much going on or too many characters in the story. And I'm happy with the story and writing. I'm not sure why I feel this way or how to fix it because I don't really know what's wrong. I did submit this story to one of my favorite publications, thinking maybe it just seems rushed because I've been through it so many times. How do you know if you're rushing the story in a short story? Does anyone have tips on slowing down the pace? It's not a bad story, but something feels off.
     
  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Where's the rushing feeling coming from just the overall story or maybe the ending or beginning. Maybe you tied up things too quickly, or dove into the story too fast?
    Usually if I feel something is going too fast I'll go over the story make sure there's no pattern causing it too feel too same-y and if there is some scene sticking out to me I'll extend it a bit to slow down the pace. I did this for my robot story Not Pink. It felt a little too quick so I inserted a scene where the robot is given to the owners girlfriend for three days but I actually extended the short story into more of a novella cause I wanted to explore the characters a bit more.
    Could be you've gone over it to much. When I edit things out I get paranoid about pace issues and if I left enough behind for the reader to understand.
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Pimpin' ain't easy, but it sure is fun.... Contributor

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    For me, it's almost always a case of the story "happening" before the characters and setting have been established--whether that takes 50 words, 500 words, or 1200 words.

    Kind of like if the inciting incident is a dude getting captured by aliens, I would say it would feel rushed if he gets nabbed before we know enough/spend enough time with the dude to care.
     
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  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I know what you're saying and I'm sure I'm guilty of that at times, but this particular story is very character driven. It's also written in first person. I feel like the character is there, but the story is quick. However, it's not a quick story. It's a 4k word story. This is one I've put a lot of work into. The pieces are there. It's just for some reason I feel like it goes too quick. Maybe it doesn't have the right rhythm? if that makes any sense. I don't usually feel this way about my writing. And I'm really not sure how to fix this problem or at least learn from it so I don't fall into this trap again.
     
  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Pimpin' ain't easy, but it sure is fun.... Contributor

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    PM me if you'd like a second opinion. Love to check out some of your shit if you're inclined.
     
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  6. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Creature of Quarantine Contributor

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    if anything, i feel like i drag mine out and I feel like its taking to long to get to the end! In my case, I'm too visual. I sometimes get too bogged down by details.
    Without having read your work, could you possibly be the opposite of me- too little detail/descriptors?
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I could see why you think something like that could be the problem, but I really don't think that's it. I just gave it a final read through with some touchups and a little work on the ending. It's on submission now at a place that doesn't take simulates submissions and is known for taking a long time. I'll revisit it if it gets rejected. Last time I thought I was struggling with a piece like this I sent it to a different publication that also doesn't allow simultaneous submissions and takes a super long time they bought it. I think maybe I've spent too much time on this one, at least for now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I've got a few short stories in various stages of revision. Would you like to look at something else or do a trade? We can talk more over messages if you like. I, too, would be interested in reading some of your work.
     
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  9. Steven Lomax

    Steven Lomax New Member

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    I wouldn’t worry about it feeling rushed. It will give you a good pace in your narrative. I love short stories as I see them as a great opportunity to write about a shorter moment or time period
     
  10. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Is it possible it's the opposite? This is a problem I often have - my stories are underpopulated, both by dint of logic (I use the word the town several times; why do I only ever reference these five people? Where's everyone else?) and also by dint of narrative content (the characters just aren't interacting with others and this is content that could be happening, but isn't.)
     
  11. HeathBar

    HeathBar Member

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    I've had this rushed feeling, too ---- one thing I've done is read through and identify the parts where I felt it's crucial for the reader to be paying attention. And then build in narrative or dialogue around those spots to slow down the cadence.
     
  12. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Senior Member

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    I relate to this! But I also get the OP's issue as well. Strange how sometimes a story can feel too drawn out...but also too rushed at the same time! Or maybe it's just in my head and I'm over-analyzing my own work.
     
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