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

Read and discuss classic short stories.

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

Post Number:#46 by Idleheim
» 18 Feb 2014, 19:13

That's a pretty decent list! Read a few myself, but for some bizarre reason it's hard for me to get worked up to read a short story. Instead of "too long, didn't read", I'm "Too short, didn't bother." I'm odd. But I'm glad Borges was at least on the list! Most of the time when I drop that name, people look at me like I have egg on my face. His Ficciones is superb!

As far as the Shyamalanic twist being the hard part about short fiction...eh, I don't think that that is ALWAYS good for a short story. True most good ones do have them, but to me the hard part is actually getting people invested in fully fleshed out characters and plot enough to be worth reading and considering. All the twists in the world won't matter if the story is crap to begin with.
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#47 by H0LD0Nthere
» 20 Feb 2014, 22:59

Thank you for this list. I haven't read all of them by a long stretch, but I recognized a few old friends, foes and boogeymen. After reviewing your list, it seems to me that short stories are often more tragic than novels. Why? Maybe there is only room to document the horror, not the redemption? Maybe they have to be more wrenching in order to achieve the same effect? Or maybe in a novel, we have more time to get used to the sad things in a character's life or prepare ourselves for the horror that is coming.

One that I did not see on your list was "My Oedipus Complex," by an Irish author whose name I forget. In this poignant, funny story, a boy of 3 or 4 years old has to adjust to his Daddy coming back from the War. Maybe it is included in "The Dubliners" collection that you mentioned.

As an author, I would say I find shorter pieces easier. If I have a big vision in my mind, it can take more time, hard work and discipline than I have available, to commit that vision faithfully to paper. But a slice of it, I can manage.
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#48 by ladyvzhang
» 09 Mar 2014, 16:51

I haven't read much on this list, but I plan to now! I love short fiction because usually, there's so much to unpack in such a sort amount of time. I always have problems letting go though -- if it's a good story, I'm always wishing for more!
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#49 by randomcheerio
» 08 May 2014, 20:29

Thanks for the list!

I think short fiction can be incredibly difficult to write because as mentioned in earlier posts, every single word is essential. Each word serves a purpose -- either to characterize, to create atmosphere, move the plot forward, etc.

I know that Marie Lu (best-selling author of the Legend trilogy) admits that she "sucks" at it in "epic proportions." This is just one example that points to the fact that it takes a different set of skills to write short fiction as opposed to a novel.

I guess it depends on the writer's skills and what aspects of writing they enjoy.
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#50 by anomalocaris
» 08 May 2014, 21:13

I don't read much short fiction, because I mostly read for escape or education. Fiction's not useful for education and short stories are too short for escape. I write short fiction for fun and to expand a little out of my nonfic comfort zone. I don't plot well enough to do novels justice. When I do read short fiction, I want it to actually have a plot, and some kind of tension or conflict. Not fond of vignettes and character studies.
You can't put a rope around the neck of an idea.
--Vol. Bobby Sands
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#51 by stoppoppingtheP
» 14 May 2014, 10:16

[quote="BookCollecting101"]



8."The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson: First published in 1948, this short has been ranked as one of the most famous short stories in American literature– despite its negative reception in some places.


[quote="BookCollecting101"]

I remember doing this story back in high school. It was a very insightful story of people doing what everyone else did, even if it may not have been the right thing to do, which often leads them to do heinous things that they would never otherwise do.
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#52 by tracy19
» 21 May 2014, 01:48

I'm not a fan of short fiction, as I feel they don't contain as much of a story as longer books, but will take a browse through the books you mentioned maybe it will change my opinion.
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#53 by Sally Balboa
» 26 May 2014, 00:30

I write mostly short fiction but often I find it tedious to read, unless it's very well done. One of the reasons I don't release many of my stories!
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#54 by Nathrad Sheare
» 27 May 2014, 01:38

I find it interesting that the initials of the process through which we achieve the best we can as writers are the same as those of the professionals we consult for issues that prevent us from functioning at our best as physical beings- M.D. M.D. stands for multiple drafts! :lol:
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#55 by ttuso22
» 03 Jun 2014, 11:10

I love reading them, but I do believe they are harder to write. For me I like to keep writing and usually I cannot condense it to short fiction.
If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#56 by Nathrad Sheare
» 04 Jun 2014, 19:30

I agree with you. Sometimes the process of condensing my words seems as complicated as surgery... It's almost as exhausting, too... And the things you'll find in there!!! :shock: Oh... well... typos and nonsensical phrases are really, really bad, right? :lol:
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#57 by SWilder
» 05 Jun 2014, 13:37

KattPascale wrote:OMG thank you!
I love short stories with twist endings!!!
This list is perfect!!!!

Agree. I think that quality fiction is harder to write when it's longer. I say that because I have written short fiction as a lead-up to longer work - it takes more complexity to write a consistently great novel. With a short story, every word matters, and authors can review every word and remember the plot with greater ease. Writing a longer work requires keeping more information (with all its intertwinings) in your mind, and it's therefore harder for me. Though I don't start out intending to write in one format or the other; the thing evolves as it is revisited. 8)
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#58 by Nathrad Sheare
» 08 Jun 2014, 07:35

I think the best thing about writing fiction is the element of surprise the plot ALWAYS has... You're right when you mention the evolution of a piece. :D
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#59 by stoppoppingtheP
» 02 Jul 2014, 07:44

I think that if it is to be a successful short fiction it is quite difficult to write, because each word weighs more weight.
“remember,
you were a writer
before
you ever
put
pen to paper.
just because you were not writing
externally.
does not mean you were not writing
internally.”

― Nayyirah Waheed
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Re: Who reads short fiction? Is it easier or harder to write

Post Number:#60 by anabigbookfan
» 04 Jul 2014, 04:42

Thanks for the list, I'll check out some of the books on there. I quite liked An Inspector Calls though the ending was too open for me!
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