When I sit down to do some writing, I want to work on a novel so short stories aren’t really my thing. There’s something about the complexity and scale of a novel I find appealing in a way that a short story simply can’t fulfill. However, I do have a few on my blog and this particular one was the first real short story I wrote.
So why did I write this one three and a half years ago? Well, a couple of reasons. Off and on, I toyed with the idea of a science fiction story set on a tidally locked world in orbit about a red dwarf star. In my head was a place where two civilizations developed on the day-side and night-side with a hostile strip of twilight between them. The two sides developed different philosophies and the story comes from an individual crossing over. So that was the idea lurking in the back of my head that wanted to get out somehow.
Then came the prompt, literally. A website I frequent had a short story challenge that fit my idea, so I decided to write a short story. At a smidgen over ten thousands words, it isn’t all that short, and even then the ending can make some readers wanting to know more. However, I had to find an end or write a novel, so I picked a moment of change for the main character. It doesn’t really satisfy the idea I had, so maybe one day I’ll write a novel based on what I’ve started with this story.
Sigh, even when I do write a short story, I tend to think novel.
If you’d like to read this story, it’s available on my website here or in various e-book formats from via Feedbooks. Some people like it and some people don’t. I’m not afraid to share it, but it does have it’s weaknesses.
When it comes to reading, I can certainly enjoy a good short story. Still, it’s not something I go seeking out. Maybe I like to get to know a character and stick when him or her through through more than five thousand words. Maybe I like a more complex plot than can be imparted through a shorter medium. There’s something about novels I really like.
So, maybe I’m not a short story kind of guy, but I do admire people who are good at writing them. It takes a special skill to draw in a reader with an economy of words and make him or her feel something in only a very few pages. I certainly wouldn’t mind having more of that ability.
Are you a short story writer or reader? What do you like about shorts that a novel just can’t give you? Or conversely what does a novel give you than a short can’t? I’d be curious to read some thoughts.