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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

writing small.....a posting by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Lately I've been looking at my work and wondering why it feels so boring when I prop it up next to other stories. I finally realized it's because I've been comparing it to other stories that aren't even in the same realm. You know, that apples to oranges thing. Here's the thing: I write small.

I was having dinner with a friend last night and we touched on the subject of ideas. She told me her latest idea and my mouth dropped open. It was so...sparkly. I was a bit dazzled and then I thought about my own ideas and they just looked seriously lame.

You see, big is not better than small. Apples are not better than oranges. Sparkly ideas are not better than matte ideas. It pretty much means we are all different and like different things. I like intimate settings, small groups of characters, stories about small changes. The sparkly ideas seem to work on grander scale settings and deal with larger groups of characters (or at least characters interacting with larger groups) who bring about big changes either in their world or themselves.

I don't mean to say every story can be categorized as big or small. Some of the best stories incorporate elements of both. On the whole, however, I do think most writers tend to lean more toward one or the other. Which one do you lean toward?
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Michelle Davidson Argyle
author ~ contemporary, literary, and fantasy fiction


  1. In re-reading your article about "Writing Small" I once again was hit with the realization that authenticity is key and it is this authenticity that keeps a reader turning the pages.

    Ideas, thoughts, whether they be "big" or "small" are valid because they are real.

    And in the so-called real world, sometimes it is the smallest thought or word that creates the biggest, most dramatic change in a life.

    Thanks for your posting, Michelle.