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Short Stories: October 28, 2020 Issue [#10437]

 This week: No Beginning & No Ending
  Edited by: Annette
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Dear readers and writers of short stories, I am Annette and I will be your editor for this issue.

Word from our sponsor

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Letter from the editor

No Beginning & No Ending

         Per Edgar Allan Poe, a short story is a story that you can read in one sitting. That means, you should be able to start reading it and be finished with it and still have a good bit of day left over to do other things. This interpretation of a short story gives enough leeway to writers to choose anywhere from flash fiction to several pages and still call their piece a short story.

         Famous authors do not agree on the content of short stories.

         Somerset Maugham insists that a proper short story have a beginning, rising tension, point of highest tension, and a resolution. It must be completed within itself.

         Not so fast, said Anton Chekov. The one with the famous gun. To him, a short story should have no beginning and no ending. It should be a slice of life instead. A short story, according to Anton Chekov, would plop the reader into the middle of an action, make him see the action, and compliment him back out on his way.

         These revelations are so interesting to me, because I have always been a strong proponent of the short story the way Maugham describes it. I like a self-contained plot. I like a real ending. That doesn't mean everyone has to die, but I want the plot at hand to have come full circle and be resolved.

         I have read slice of life type short stories, and I seem to enjoy them in the moment. They just make me feel like I wasted my time because the characters are so fleeting. Instead of getting to know them and their story, I feel I got to watch them from across train tracks, or a river, but I didn't get to be there with them. They sliced into my life and floated away in the same way they arrived.

         When you write short stories, do you think you write more closed plot stories that have a defined beginning, middle, and ending, or do you think your stories are more voyeuristically giving the reader a snapshot into the lives or characters?

Editor's Picks

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#2236045 by Not Available.

Mortimer's Return  (18+)
Horror Story for Bard's Hall Oct 2020
#2236054 by ♥HOOves♥

hello/goodbye  (13+)
By the coastline, she waited for the reunion that she had been anticipating and avoiding.
#2236151 by Aizel Mae

Dreamscape  (GC)
Time to think is a dangerous thing, but can someone learn to use an excess of it?
#2236183 by RubyDragon

Eavesdropping Wormtail  (13+)
Wormtail listens in on Bellatrix and Narcissa's visit to see Severus
#2236233 by Emily

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#2113830 by Not Available.

A Contest Inspired by the Old Pulp Fiction Covers of Weird Tales Magazine
#2083492 by Beacon's Light ⚓️

 Invalid Item 
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#2232123 by Not Available.

Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  (ASR)
Use the photo to inspire your creativity. Write a short story and win big prizes!
#1221635 by Writing.Com Support

 Invalid Item 
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#2235535 by Not Available.

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

I received these replies to my last Short Stories newsletter "From Idea to Finished Story

dogpack:saving 4 premium: DWG wrote: Reading and writing go together no matter the genre. Reading helps writers because it shows either how to write or how not to write. Usually reading the most popular authors is a reliable source for helping to hone writing skills. Writing in different genres also is helpful especially because these can be included in a short story. Many sub-genres or vise versa, allow for the inclusion of different genres into the story. Poetry is a good way to find concise statements to which questions can be asked about the story so the writer is able to create a balanced and organized story with a consistent point of view. Stretching and strengthening writing muscles is similar to working out for physical health.

Quick-Quill wrote: My, what if's always start a story. What if you recognize the missing man on the TV said to be armed and dangerous? Then you get a knock at the door, and the man is there asking for your help? What if you wake up in pain and your wife/husband is saying, "How do you reload this gun?" These incidents can start a story or become an inciting incident.

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