Songwriting and Short Stories
In honor of the upcoming release of the first book in the new series of devotionals for fiction lovers, I thought my readers might like to know more about the authors who contributed short stories to the book. This week’s guest is songwriter and author Buck Storm.
How is writing a short story different from writing a novel? How are they similar?
Sprint versus marathon. I’ve always been a fan of shorts. My worn-out copies of O. Henry and J. D. Salinger’s Nine Stories are evidence! I’ve been a songwriter since what feels like the mid-1800s. Authors have inspired me over the years more than the great songwriters. The challenge with writing a song isn’t always lyric and melody as much as trying to make your point in three and a half minutes. Short stories are like that. Beginning, middle, end—bam bam bam. In a novel there’s a feeling of stretching out and relaxing in the language and meter. Both are enjoyable but very different crafts.
What do you enjoy about writing short stories? What are the challenges?
I like stepping into a particular scene, told from a particular point of view, with a sense of immediacy. A snapshot of a moment in time. No chapters to develop characters or the emotions driving them. It’s quite a challenge to pull a reader in and make him care about people he just met.
What advice would you share with someone who wants to write short stories?
Turn off the television. Hide the smart phone. Go outside and play. Travel with no agenda. Fall in love. Get in a fight. Make friends at truck stops. Watch sunsets. Everyone has a story. Write one. But live your own as well.
When you write, get that story in a headlock and don’t show mercy till it makes you laugh, cry, or both.
Buck Storm has been blessed to see the planet with a guitar and a pocketful of stories. The Miracle Man (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas/Heritage Beacon) is his first novel. Buck and his wife, Michelle, have a happy love story, a hideout in north Idaho, and two wonderful children. Visit his website at www.buckstorm.com.