Time to come clean. I’ve been cheating…on YA writing. Lately, I’ve been working on short stories for young kids. I needed a break. A fresh way to look at my work. And, in a weird way, it all connects.
You see, I’m writing stories about African savannah animals, like those I saw when I visited the Serengeti and the Masai Mara when I lived in Rwanda. (And in case you don’t remember, or are new to the blog, the YA novel I’m revising takes place in Rwanda.) I guess I’m still fascinated by elephants, giraffes, hippos and wildebeest. And I want to share that fascination with kids.
Who doesn’t love safari animals, right?
Short stories are quite a different thing than a novel. Okay, length obviously. But more than that. Sure, I still need a story problem, layered characters, a goal and obstacles to achieving that goal. But I don’t need sub-plots, or plot layers, or as many obstacles as in a novel. And the characters don’t have to be as deep. They just have to be likeable and/or relatable to young children.
I think I’ve accomplished that. And given a taste of the wondrous land that is the East African savannah.
Well, we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see if I have any better luck as a short story writer than as a YA novel writer. Not that I’m giving up on Kwizera (or Sophie). I’m still revising, and reading, and getting critiques. I’m getting there.
I’m getting there.