Monday, February 11, 2013

on writing - short stories

Short fiction seems more targeted - hand grenades of ideas, if
you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never
forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it's a lot
smokier and less defined.   - Paolo Bacigalupi

When well told, a story captured the subtle movement of change.
If a novel was a map of a country, a story was the bright silver
pin that marked the crossroads.   - Ann Patchett

The short story form allows evocation, suggestion, implication.
Its potency often lies in what it does not say.   - Isobelle Carmody

By Janice Wu

Long fiction is wonderful and you can lose yourself in it as a
reader and as a writer, but short stories don't allow the same kind
of immersion. Often the best stories hold you back and make you
witness them. This may be one of the reasons some people reject
the form. That and the fact that they are harder work to read. A
story will not let you get comfortable and settle in. It is like a
stool that is so small that you must always be aware of sitting.
- Isobelle Carmody

A story is something which wobbles reality, affects a change in the
reader, shakes things enough that we see anew. I do not much care
for the American style 'condensed novel' sometimes called a short-
story. Shortness (under 10K) is not my definition of a short story.
A short-story should, I think, have poetic elements and should think
of itself as an extended poem, not necessarily poetically languaged
but trying to unseat the reader, with a single insight, a beautiful
phrase or the perfectly placed punctuation mark.   - Alex Keegan

Ideally, a short story is an indivisible unit – every sentence in it
points to the single climax that fulfills the entire work. One moment
in the story controls all the rest.   - Orson Scott Card

I have hardly ever started a story, long or short, on the right plan -
the right plan being the plan which will make it tell itself without my
help--except after three failures. I think you are safe to tell the
advanced class that only the born artist can expect to start a story
right the first time.   - Mark Twain

A good short story is almost always about a moment of profound
realisation. Or a hint of that. A quiet bomb. There is a record by the
American singer Tori Amos called Little Earthquakes. That¹s a good
metaphor for a short story.   - Joseph O'Connor

I would like to have written a shorter letter but didn't have the time.
(like writing a short story)   - Mark Twain

The challenge and glory of the short story lie exactly there, in its
shortness. But shortness encourages certain effects and not others.
It encourages, for instance, the close-up view, the revelatory detail,
the single significant moment.   - Steven Millhauser

A short story is something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in
passing.   - V.S. Pritchett

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