Sunday, 15 March 2015

Appreciate the Short Story; it is not so easy to Write

I have just begun to read an anthology of short stories by an up and coming UK British horror author. It is too early for me to comment on the book, since I am reading it mainly for the purpose of providing a review. Having only started it late at night, and therefore read about half of the first story, I am already intrigued and delighted. The story has hooked me in, and I went to sleep thinking about the new characters I had met, and the fate that might befall them. It even unsettled me, so I think we have the makings of a good horror story collection over here!

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This morning I was pondering the nature of the short story. I have reads thousands of stories over the years, and I always believed that I preferred a proper novel. I like to read a series of novels by the same author, once I have my favourites. I connect with the characters, the settings, the stories of each individual world. But then I realised that I have also been reading short stories throughout my life as well. Obviously, as a child I started with stories tailored for a young audience. As a teenager I moved into other genres and realms as my reading horizons broadened. And then, as an adult, the whole world opened up to me.

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I do appreciate a good short story. They are very useful in this modern age, where everyone is busy, and nobody has the time to be still for more than a few minutes. You can read a short story very easily while on the daily commute, perhaps sitting on a bus or train. You can fit a short story in around your children. And with short stories, you can pick them up as and when you find the time to read. Personally, I read something at least once a day, mostly. But then I am a reader. It is part of my job. A good writer must always do the research from his or her peers.

What do you think about short stories? Do you read them? Do you write them? Please, do share your preferences. It is all part of my market research after all!

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