I've got a few friends who rave about how awesome short stories are. My mom likes them because it's all she has time to write. But I'm the kind of person who sits down to write a paragraph and ends up with a 20 page paper, or comes up with an idea that can be summed up in one sentence (ex "guy asks out wrong girl on facebook") and it turns into an 65,000 word novel (hence Accidental Girlfriend).
But recently I've written a few short stories and they've been pretty exciting. Here's why I like them:
1. You don't have to put in all the details, because what you leave out is more important than what you put in. For example, in my latest short story, French Fries, one of the characters shoves his wallet into his back pocket. That's all that's said, but you can infer from it so much. But I don't have to write it!
2. You can say a lot in very little words. Short stories are the Haiku of fiction. Again with French Fries, it's barely over 1000 words. But I had an hour long discussion about it with one of my friends. Jesus, Babies, and Fishing was also very short, but it said a lot. So much so that a friend of mine is recommending it for a short film.
3. It means something different to every person. You don't have to make the "deep meaning" obvious. In fact, there doesn't have to be one. Jesus, Babies, and Fishing was just something I wrote from a prompt. I didn't purposefully make it beautiful or profound, but those are the responses I've gotten. Everyone finds something different within a short story. For example, Last spring I read The Price of Eggs in China, a story by Don Lee in his short story collection Yellow. During our discussion in class, it was obvious that everyone had an idea of what happened after the story ended, and everyone's idea was different. Also, the story itself was illusive about what actually happened, and everyone had different ideas of who actually did what. Because of that, rest assured that people will find what they need in the story.
I'm currently reviewing a book of short stories. I'll link this post to it and vice versa when it's up.
What's your opinion on short stories? do you like writing them or reading them, or do you prefer longer works?