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This week: That Short Story That Stays For LongEdited by: Annette
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Hello readers and writers of short stories, I am Annette and I will be your guest editor for today's newsletter.
That Short Story That Stays For Long
Some short story writers achieve to create such a big world in only a relatively short amount of text that the characters and the storyline stay with the reader for a long time. Whether the reader has a crush on one of the characters, wonders how the story really ends, wonders how the story goes on, or just likes the feeling created while reading the story, there are stories that stay with a reader.
One of the things I like most about Writing.Com is that I have access to thousands of short stories. Not only that, in many cases I can communicate with the writers about the stories I read. Sometimes, nothing comes from a review or even an email, at other times, great long-term conversations start up.
When I was newer to Writing.Com, this site was pretty much the only place where I read anything at all. The possibility to interact with other writers had spoiled me from books where I was relegated to the role of passive reader. Becoming a part of the storytelling here, even if my suggestion was simply to point out a misplaced comma was so much more fulfilling to me as a reader. I don't review as much as I used to do anymore, but I always like it when I send out a review and the writer replies with changes made or replies to my comments.
I have gone back to reading books where I do not have access to the author the way I do here, but reading here on the site is still much more interactive to me. (Funny enough, I do not really thrive on interactives, however.)
Was it because I was new here? Or were the stories that good? Hard to tell, but there are some stories here that I still remember after all this time. I even searched some out recently. Being able to reread stories that I enjoyed years ago is interesting because I kind of know what to expect, but it's also surprising how many details I forgot.
How many stories have you come across here on Writing.Com that you go to over and over again? How many of those did you review? Did they change over time? Do you sometimes wish the author would make them longer, give you more of that world? Has anyone ever asked you to write more for a certain world or story you created?
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I received the following replies to my last Short Stories Newsletter "No Beginning & No Ending"
dog pack:saving4 premium renew wrote: Research reveals that depending on the opinion of the source a short story can be as little as about 300 words and in theory as long as 25,000 words, depending on one's definition. Short stories I tend to write follow traditional guidelines. Sometimes I do leave out certain information for the purpose of allowing the reader to create in their minds. Occasionally I will leave an ending open with suggestions toward possible scenarios allowing the reader to decide the ending. Sometimes it is as important to have information as it is to omit information depending on the story structure and objective. Short stories can be approached from beginning to end or from ending backward to the beginning. Research reveals much about the short story.
You are so right about the length of short stories. I also found out that novels are now shrinking and 35,000 words are now allowed to call themselves novels.
brom21 wrote: I am more or less a pantser. My muse comes while I'm in front of the computer screen. Short stories are hard for me because I have to put in lots of transition details like dialogue and showing rather than telling. I basically need moderation. It's so hard! I have so many ideas in my head! I appreciate the NL!
Same about the computer screen. I just can't sit with a paper page and take notes. I don't work that way. Be sure to nurture those ideas and write them out.
Queen NormaJean is in a wonder wrote: Flash fiction is one of those genre that is hard to have a complete short story. Those stories are just little slices of life, in my opinion. Also in my opinion the hardest of all to write and write well. Tell a good story in 300 words or less. It can be done.
Yes, absolutely. I enjoy reading flash fiction. Slice of life or more "complete," these little stories can pack a punch.
Lazy Writer est 4/24/2008 wrote: My short stories are complete, beginning, middle, and ending.
Submitted2publisher wrote: I believe they can be both, a slice of life with a beginning and end. Drop the reader into the action, but complete the scene. I have one where a girl asks can you fry an egg on a hot sidewalk? The scene unfolds with an end, but there isn't an overall end.
You are right, they can be both. I'm someone who likes an ending.
Steven, Rejected By All wrote: I like my short stories to be self-contained units. I find "slices of life", anecdotes, whatever fine, but they often make no impact on me. I agree with Poe. Mind you, I also prefer Poe over Chekhov. Poe tells a story. Chekhov seemed to like style over substance. (Not a fan; sorry.)
No problem with me. I like complete stories and I don't care much for style unless it's part of the story.
Beholden wrote: I was raised on the short stories of O. Henry. It was inevitable, therefore, that I should believe that short stories must have twists at the end. Anything else is a vignette. But I'm open to suggestion and, if you can give me a good read without a twist, that's fine by me.
So strict. However, I don't think I can be the one to give you a story that is good and without a twist. I haven't been writing enough lately as it is.
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