Monday, January 23, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#58) -- Reading Short Stories

Which do you prefer to read, novels or short stories?

Short stories.

I've been a fan of short stories since I was in high school. I think they're an amazing art form that forces writers to condense all the fat that can fill up a novel. Granted, when I'm reading for elaborate plots and such, a novel is really the best way to go (although, the pulps managed to do that in novellas and novelettes too). But when I want to really get to know the characters I'm reading, and experience the full spectrum of what words can do in fiction, I go to short stories.

I only wish they weren't such a dying market. 

“Short fiction seems more targeted - hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it's a lot smokier and less defined.” ― Paolo Bacigalupi

“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.” ― Lorrie Moore

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” -― Edgar Allan Poe

“A short story is a different thing all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” ― Stephen King