May is short story month.
A short story can be any length that tells one story that is satisfying to the reader and yet makes them think. A good short story usually leaves us with the feeling of “What would have happened if…?” or “What will happen next?”
The world of readers is changing. More people are reading than ever before and apple and kindle have figured this out. Because of this, they are selling more and more short stories to their clients. These short stories can be read in the time of a normal bus commute, and afternoon at the beach and are offered at lower prices than full-length books.
The minute they were introduced in 2010, Kindle Singles became wildly popular, being shorter and more affordable.
"In many cases, 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages) might be the perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea, well researched, well argued and well illustrated--whether it's a business lesson, a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event," Amazon said.
A short story is a beautiful fiction read with a fast pay-off. Most good writers can write a short story and see it like a child, resembling one of their novels, only smaller. I love Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich,” Isak Dinesen's (Karen Blixen) “Babette's Feast” and anything Flannery O’Connor wrote.
The most haunting short story I ever read was “Counterparts” by James Joyce, a terrible story of a compulsive alcoholic in a dead-end job teetering on a breakdown. The reader meets him on a day that he is bullied by his boss. It was horrifying and strange and immortal. When I finished, I winced and sat for awhile. I replaced the book where I found it and walked away disturbed by what I just saw. I was relieved that it was fiction; I was troubled that it wasn’t.
A good story does that: it stays with you long after you read it. Even in the din of our world: the television, the club music, the gym activity, the kids... a good story transports the reader into another world.
This month I am looking for guest bloggers with original short stories. Can you tell one? If so, email me or inbox me. I’d love to read your work and then post it here.
Blessings; happy reading