Saturday, 28 February 2015

Does writing prose affect my poetry production?

Below are graphs showing how many poems, stories and Flash pieces I've written and had published since 1991.

I was curious about whether writing lots of Flash suppressed my poetry or story writing. Though a peak in the production of one type of writing often coincides with a trough on another graph, it as often coincides with another peak, so although there's a relationship it's not a simple one. I guess Flash and stories are most nearly the inverse of each other, which isn't such a surprise.

If one views the blue lines (how much I wrote) as quantity and the red lines (how much I published) as quality, I'd say I've not improved over the years. Nor has my quality control changed - the more I write, the more I get published, though my volume of output (which is never high) is patchy to say the least. Some years I produce no examples of a mode. Stories in particular don't come naturally - I have to commit myself to writing them; the temptations of Flash/Microfiction are too great. Increasingly my stories are episodic, a sequence of related flashes.

Or perhaps earnings should be the measure of quality. I hope not, but for completeness, here's the data.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Some recent story successes

  • A New Start (Cortland Review) - Written in 2014. It'll be interesting to see which of its non-mainstream features people have the most trouble with.
  • Death and Deception (the Honest Ulsterman) - Written in 2009. Flash-length Creative non-fiction?
  • "Out of the Blue" (written in 2004) will be in Cambridge Writers competition anthology e-book later this year - highly commended (i.e. not in the first 4 of the competition's 18 entries!)
  • Correspondence (Necessary Fiction) - I wrote the first draft of this back in 1992. Subsequent drafts varied in how easily they could be treated as SF.