Sep 23, 2010

On Reading Short Stories

Had it not been for Saladin Ahmed, I wouldn't be wanting to read short stories. His story, "Where Virtue Lives" was something I had not expected. After reading that story, I sought out more shirt stories on the internet, mainly Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

The short story is always a pleasant read. 10-20 pages of all the tension and story you want, as opposed to a novel. I'm talking Fantasy here. In Fantasy, the prologue kicks the book off, but I have to slave my way through four chapters of the book to get into the action. One book, I had to slave through ten. This being said, the short story drives us straight into the action. This is done by the "hook" line, the first line in the story which gives us the situation, and why we should be scared. An example would be Chris Wilrich's "The Sword of Loving Kindness" where he gives us the place, the two characters, and why they are their(to make a hellish deposit)

That said, I'm really digging the short stories. I can read five of them in a day, and as a writer, that's great study material to see how a short story works. Novels these days, especially in my genre, are huge. I'd rather read a 15 page story and get the same effects than a 600+ behemoth. What would you do?

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