Donna L Greenwood, LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection Short Story
LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection Short Story, 'Tarred' by Donna L Greenwood
When did you first start writing and how often do you write?
I started writing flash fiction about five years ago with some immediate success which really motivated me. I've always written but to get my short pieces published to favourable reviews spurred me on to write. I am so pleased to say that my novelette-in-flash 'The Impossiblity of Wings' will be published alongside Tom O' Brien's and Ian O'Brien's novelettes by Retreat West on 23rd of June this year.
If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. My phone is my best resource. I type out drafts of stories when I'm out and about and then come home and chisel away at them.
Best and hardest thing about writing short stories.
When I moved into writing longer stories, I found that I could flesh out characters and plot lines, which was incredibly fulfilling. I do struggle with length though. I find my stories come to a natural stop at around 1000 words.
Is there a story behind the story?
'Tarred' is actually semi autobiographical which made it excruciating to write, because the protagonist is me and I'm the bad guy. I have dramatised it a little and exaggerated in places but, yes, I really was this awful person when I was a teenager. Writing this story is a kind of confession. The 'you' character is now a famous and well loved poet, so hopefully my shitty treatment of her didn't have any lasting effects.
Any tips for writing a short story?
I always write long and messy without editing. I don't plan the structure, I go back after I've finished and start sculpting the shape. I've learned to be more ruthless as a writer. I love metaphors and fancy words but I've learned that these often get in the way of the story, so, though it breaks my heart, I slice them out.
Do I recommend entering LISP competitions?
Absolutely! LISP is writer friendly and brilliant at promoting the words of their writers.