Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write?

Read and discuss classic short stories.
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prospero1501
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post by prospero1501 » 06 Jul 2016, 13:54

I enjoy writing short fiction (40-100) pages because I can get them done rather quickly. Instead of years, it can take a matter of months to complete one (not counting a final revision). It is a good idea to have a novella or short story in the works to have a sort of break from writing your longer book. It took me 12 years to write 600 pages for my first work of fiction (not yet published, but currently being edited), and it was a great relief to work on something shorter from time to time. It's like eating junk food after a week of dieting; sometimes we just need to do that.
As far as reading short books, I really enjoy them for the same reasons that I like to take breaks from reading longer books. There will be times when you just don't want to tackle 1000+ page books like Les Miserables, War & Peace, or Anna Karenina, yet sometimes short stories just seem, well, short. Novellas fill that gap nicely, and they are great for folks who have not been much in the habit of reading, who want to get their feet wet without drowning in paper. Short stories have their place as well, but I like them best when several of them are gathered in an anthology, to be perused at my leisure in small chunks, while having the freedom to skip ones I don't find interesting.

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Bri Munnich
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Post by Bri Munnich » 11 Jul 2016, 03:53

I read short fiction alot for inspiration or if I need a break from a larger book. I really like Poe's work though. When it comes to writing I think short stories have the advantage pf being quicker to write, but they have less time to captive the audience and express their ideas.

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Post by klbradley » 22 Jul 2016, 08:07

I would think short fiction would be harder to write, due to the fact that you have to combine all that information in to a small piece.
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Post by fari30 » 09 Aug 2016, 23:38

I really admire authors who can write short stories and get across as many emotions and details into 20 pages as one would in a 200-page novel. I have a hard time writing short fiction because my ideas never stop and things just get bigger and more detailed and my brain keeps coming up with events and characters and it's really hard to rein it all in, so I admire authors who can.
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Post by lynn4merle » 10 Aug 2016, 00:12

Some may like to get through the plot quickly; some may like a longer read, and others may prefer - either. Neither appears easier, or harder to write in my opinion. One of the options may be more time-consuming, but in thinking about it, writing fatigue could happen within short fiction, also; but after a recess period comes about; afterwards, there would be a refreshing continuation of the writing.

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Post by 2124Sunshine » 22 Nov 2016, 11:10

I love short fiction, I think it would be hard to write, maybe once you get worked up in the short, you have to find a cut off point, that will make the story end well and not just blaaaa....

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Post by Lesa » 22 Nov 2016, 21:26

I read both long and short fiction, but the older I get, the shorter I tend to like them. I think this reflects my writing style. I'm a short story and novella writer. I wrote a huge long novel once, and I don't want to do it again, lol. My hats off to all the awesome novel writer's out there! I love reading them, just not writing them.

I'm thinking the short story suits me so much better because I'm not into writing (or reading) long passages of description, and setting isn't very important to me. I'm way more character and plot driven.

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Post by bigfootmurf » 05 Dec 2016, 05:50

I write short stories for low grade SF and Fantasy magazines. They are easier to write than novels in the sense that they don't take as long and you won't get bored. A novel is a long slog. On the other hand you have to come up with a new idea for each story. And as for making money, forget it! The way to make money is to write a ten volume serial. Sadly, the short story is no longer popular.

It's a great list and I've read quite a few of them.

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Post by kaitlyntommeraas » 03 Jan 2017, 17:05

I have once tried writing short fiction, and it was a lot more difficult than I had imagined.

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Post by Erik » 04 Jan 2017, 23:01

I love reading short fiction, but as my talents do not lie in writing, I have never tried writing it myself.

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Post by Empathry » 06 Jan 2017, 05:32

Great list!
You have included most of the greatest authors of all time.

I think short stories are easier both to write and read.
As a writer, the short story is the best teacher for honing one's skill.
As a reader its the best introduction to new authors.

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Post by Lois Lane » 09 Mar 2017, 16:24

Thanks a lot for this great list,its superb...the books are WOW!.

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Post by Clive Johnson » 20 Mar 2017, 18:02

Leavis didn't like short stories with twists. He disliked contrivance in fiction and thought "The Gift of the Magi" typified stories whose main aim was ingenuity. It may be true that many short stories end with a surprise, but they are not necessarily composed with that end in mind. If an author is noted for writing twists, the endings can be predictable.
To avoid producing snapshots, a conclusion that reflects the stories' themes will either be inevitable or jolt the reader. Sometimes the inevitability may elude the reader until the final sentence. I wouldn't know how to flesh out a plot I have cooked up. The best way, surely, is to dwell on people and events that concern one and let actions take their course.

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Post by Amagine » 30 Mar 2017, 10:00

You just named two of my all time favorites:

A Good Man is Hard to Find
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Notice they are both about serial killers..... I know... I have issues....

Anyway! I read short stories and I've tried to write some...it's not as easy as some assume. You have limited time and space to tell a story, create characters, develop them, keep the plot interesting, describe the setting, etc. It's not an easy form to write and in my opinion, I feel short stories aren't as well respected as they use to be. I still would like to try my hand at writing one though. It's still a beautiful form of literature to me.
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Post by thewaryouknow » 02 Apr 2017, 09:31

I read it and think it would be harder to write if you didn't have a great imagination.

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