How does one learn to live life? Is it in the way we were raised? Is it the choices we make? Is it how we perceive things? She was not raised like this. No one would make choices to feel like this and perception is reality, no? If her scars were on the outside instead of on the inside, she would be immediately raced to a hospital. The room would fill with doctors and nurses scurrying to make her lively. But the scars remained on the inside so the world did not see the wounds. The pain remained unseen and the rush for help was nowhere to be found.
A lot of the time you find really influential stories originally come from novellas, and I think that’s because it takes supreme skill to write one. It’s easy to bulk up a novella into a novel, adding extraneous characters and stretching out scenes, but the ability to say ‘that’s everything this story needs, it’s finished’ comes with either great confidence and insight or complete foolishness. I’m a big fan of authorial minimalism, though it’s an easy doctrine to champion and a difficult one to live up to.
Re copyright, as soon as you’ve written something, you own the copyright. I’ve heard the advice you mention before. It’s something I used to do with the music produced by the bands I played in 25 years ago, before the internet. Nowadays, it’s not something I’d bother with. If you write online, you prove when you wrote something using the file – there will be a record of when it was created. Also, as soon as you submit anywhere, there will be further digital proof that you wrote the story you submitted. Just keep a copy of all correspondence. Personally, I think that you can worry too much about copyright. It’s better to concentrate on submitting and getting published :-)