I spent over 25 years in the advertising business on the creative side, which was quite exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I remember the long days of sitting around brainstorming ideas getting paid well to spend other people’s money. The most challenging part to coming up with ideas is how to express them in a short time. Okay, total side note unrelated to this topic, but the real fun part was convincing clients we had to shoot at exotic, out-of-country locations, basically so we could tack a vacation onto the shoot dates!
Most TV commercials are 30 seconds long and I usually had a book worth of things to say in the spot. Actually, correction, the client had a book worth of things they wanted to say in the spot. Typical. Most creative teams get real good real fast at telling a whole story in 30 seconds. I learned from some of the best, which is probably why I had such a long career.
Now that I’m a writer I look back at my ad days and use those same skills to pen my short stories, which I think are much harder to write than a novel. Other writer’s may disagree. I find that like writing a 30 second TV spot, writing a short story forces you to pay much more attention to where the story is going, how it develops and finishes. With a novel, while those things are important, you can more or less wait until the editing process to hash things out.
I fancy the challenge of short story writing and I have a few in the works. The one I’m currently finishing is titled Dad and I. The premise of this story is about a boy and his dad having a very direct and honest conversation. It takes place at a baseball field and the entire story is dialogue. It’s based from my personal events with a bit of added wishful thinking. Visit my website to read excerpts of the first few pages.
The other short story I’m working on is about a small rural town that’s being enticed by a developer to build a huge department store. The town goes all out to scare off the would be attackers to keep their town wholesome, pure and simple. The characters in this story are whimsical if not far-fetched, but not much different than most folks I’ve met in rural America. It’s a fun read that brings smile to your face. There are no excerpts or cover posted yet but I’ll have them up soon.