I’ve been writing short stories, which is a completely different experience for me. I’ve done flash fiction for years as a kind of daily warm-up for my novels, so you’d think upping the word count wouldn’t be that much of a difference, but it really is. With my novels I spend a great deal of time and effort on character development. I do personality studies, have pictures painted, go overboard, really. But I have to; I need them to be real to me so they will be real for my readers. Now for my flash fiction, I don’t do any of that. I just sit and write for a few minutes whatever pops in my head. Short stories should fall somewhere in the middle, right? But they don’t. I can’t justify the months I usually spend on getting to know a character whose story will be told in thirty pages or less. At the same time, though, it feels like I should do more than just sit and write. It’s a conundrum. How about all of you—do you spend the same time prepping for short stories as you do your longer works?