Short stories are great

by juliusmsanz

First of all many apologies for not writing anything yesterday, it was just one of those things.

Now let’s talk about short stories, especially why I truly like them.

It turns out I’ve been into short stories for far longer than I even realized. And I’ve been trying to write novels for quite some time even though they never turned out anything spectacular. Short stories are powerful because they focus on what’s important, be that character or plot.

Some epics and novels are great, no doubt about that, but mostly they focus on dragging along the story, slowing down the pace and creating various characters that end up in conflict and most are pointless. Stories are based on ideas, and, in my view, you don’t need to write about 70,000 words to express one idea, no matter how complicated it might be. In fact it’s quite the opposite, it’s better to try to be as simple and concise as possible in order for the reader to get the point.

Some of my favorite writers also focused more on short stories: Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, H.P. Lovecraft, among others.

Most of all I think short stories and flash fiction can be a perfect media for an aspiring writer to get his/her point across and really lead to some flawless writing. I used to say to some of the students I taught that keeping things simple is the best, never overstretch what doesn’t need it and that there is no need to use over complicated words.

If you wish to focus on limits then it also works in your favor, I found that I can formulate, write and revise a short story within a day. Now try to do the same with a 40,000 word manuscript. You’ll need weeks, sometimes even more.

That is not to say that people should stop writing novels. I loved the Count of Monte Cristo from Dumas; I loved The Idiot by Dostoyevsky; I loved The Red and The Black by Stendhal, and many, many others. I think novels require a lot of thinking and planning and character development and are serious hard work, some novels are absolutely amazing, but they’re not for everyone.

I also like short stories because I’m a lazy bastard, it had to be said.

Have a great day people!