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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Short Stories vs The Almighty Novel

I truly believe that there is a misconception out there about short stories. Someone asks you what you write and you tell them you are a novelist, immediately their eyes arch and they nod, very impressed. On the other hand if you tell them you write short stories and they nod also, but this time with a kind of a "that's nice" smile. It's just a natural thing I guess. Most novelists seem to garner more credibility than those writers chose to write collected fiction. Possibly because a novel seems more epic, more expansive, more complicated, and thus takes much more skill to write. This is very true. A novel is a very hard thing to write. Take my word for it. I'm over 30,000 words in on one of my own, and with an aching case of writer's block with it right now, and I can tell you it's definitely hard work. I myself have always considered myself a short story writer. I just happen to really like the format? It's probably because I have such a short attention span. I've read my share of novels and I am a notoriously SLOW reader. So I think short story collections are very viable. I think they will enjoy a comeback with the rise of ebooks. I myself do tend to prefer a tangible book, but I have come to really respect the Kindle. The one with the electronic ink. I bought my wife the Kindle Fire for Christmas because she didn't have a tablet or iPad like I did, so it was kind of an all in one deal for her, but you can't beat the regular Wifi or 3G electronic ink/digital paper reader for reading outside or on the beach in direct sunlight. And the battery lasts a good long time!

I think now is a PRIME time for short story writers who have had a hard time in the past getting short story collections published because publishers shunned it because collections by unknown or little known authors didn't sell well. Well, Amazon KDP, Barnes and Nobel, Smashwords, and Apple iBook have changed all of that. True, it still requires talent and skill. But at least now there is a good, viable outlet for authors besides traditional publishers.

In the past it has been big name authors like, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson who had the clout to make a living selling short stories and the occasional novels they wrote. Now it is within the grasp of the rest of us! I think people really love short stories. Think about it, just about every drama TV show...heck every TV show really...that you've ever seen is basically a short story right?

So I put as much as I can into my short story writing, because the writing is THE most important part. Getting people to see and find and read your stuff is something that will come in time with vigorous promotion. But nothing can replace talent and good story telling and devotion to the craft!

What do you think? Look forward to any and all comments!

Keep Reading and Writing!!!

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