Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Confessions of a Short Story Lover

I fondly remember a book I won, The Weight Of A Feather by Judy Croome. It was a collection of 45 short stories and one of my most favorite books I have ever read. I also love authors Adam Light and Evans Light, brothers, who write horror and only write short stories. I found myself at the surgical center on Monday waiting to go in for my procedure and I picked up my cell phone and found my Kindle and looked at what was stored in there. Well wouldn't you know it, I have had this one book in there for forever and did not know it was a collection of horror short stories. I finished it last night and it was so good. You can see my review it was the last review I did on this blog. Do I even have to mention my love of comics?

So as I was sending Judy her interview questions today, I wound up buying one more of her short story collections and wondered how many books I brought that were suggested by my horror group that are also collections of short stories. There was a time where I would look at there free and 99c recommendations every day and purchase a bunch of books. But I did not want my Kindle to get filled up too fast.

The art of the short story alludes me. I have tried to write a short story and no dice. Because it has to be between 50 (the short-shorts, hard to write!) and about 20,000 words: a paragraph to just under 50 pages, if not it is a novella. A novella tends to be between 20,000 to 50,000 words: 50 pages to about 125 pages. A Novel is upwards of 50,000 words, depending on the genre. Novels for teens tend to be around 60,000 words. A lot of science fiction and fantasy novels tend closer to 200,000 words, and most books fall somewhere in between -- generally 80,000 to 90,000 words.

Any non-periodical published work which is bound is a "book". Illustrated children's books are often 32 pages long.

So back to what I was saying, basically when I find out I am reading a group of short stories I loose it. I am so happy! Why?

I think it is because I feel like I am getting a bunch of books in one. A bargain if you will. And, hopefully, each and every one will be different. Now if you do a short story right, you become invested in the characters quickly. But you can move on to the next story just as quickly.

There have been many successful short story writers over the years: Chuck Palahniuk, Ray Bradbury, Washington Irving, Isaac Asimov, Steven King, J.D. Salinger, O. Henry, John Updike, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edgar Allen Poe just to name a few. I have read a few of them and loved them.

Do not get me wrong. I love my novels. I always get sad at the end when the book is almost over and try to stretch it out so it does not have to end. You cannot do that with a short story.

I believe I also love the fact that the author can engage us so quickly and sum up the story so quickly.

If you offered me my choice of books, a novel or a book of short stories, I would pick the book of short stories.

So yes, I am a short story lover and am not going to hide any more. I hope I can find some great ones. I will stick with authors I know until I get a suggestion made, or win a book, which has happened aside from The Weight Of A Feather.

So love me, and love my books!