I’ve been reading some collections of short stories lately, and honestly they are reminders of why I don’t really care for short stories all that much. It’s just so difficult for a writer to put together something so short that still has meaning. A few of Camus’s from ‘Exile and the Kingdom’ were good (I particularly enjoyed “Jonas, Or the Writer At Work,”) but most of them failed to reach the expectations works like ‘The Fall’ and ‘The Stranger’ had set for me. Hemingway is faring a little better in his ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ collection – “A Well Lighted Place” was simply fantastic … but I’m still partial to novellas vs. short stories.
On that note, I’ve decided to put together a few short stories of my own this year. Not having written anything in short story form since I was a kid, it’s actually a rather difficult exercise, to make something with meaning and impact in such a short amount of space. My first work of 2016, a short story called ‘The Secret’ was finished earlier this morning, and I think it works somewhat due to the fact that it’s a kind of horror story – which definitely seem to lend themselves to the short story form better than some other types of writing. Since you’re mostly setting a mood, a scene and then throwing some sort of shock or surprise at the end, the format works fairly well. In fact, I personally prefer the short stories of Stephen King and many other horror writers to their full-length novels.
So, that’s that. I wrote a short story. I think it’s decent. I have more in mind too. More than anything, they’re a good opportunity to exercise different writing muscles than what I’ve been used to.