I think one of the most pleasing things about the flurry of blogs is the number of people chosing to use them to write short stories. I love short stories – they at least don’t consume a vast amount of time before you find whether you like them or not. There have been a number of books I’ve cursed and thrown across the room – frustrated because I invested the time in some shallow or vile story, hanging on to the last moment, in the vain hope that they might come right in the end. Mark Bernstein wrote about this:
Writing and reading are hard work, but each starts with fun. If it’s not delighting you, why are you doing it?
It takes a lot to make me abandon a book. A voice in my head keeps telling me to persist, to work through it, not to waste the money. (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
But it’s not only the time saving that makes short stories work for me. A well crafted short story is like a sumi-e painting – all of the key points are there, and although there is white space, there is nothing left to the imagination. I’ve been enjoying Bob Boyd’s My Postcard Fiction. His take on the Mothman was great fun. Chris Carter, heads up!